How Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Work in California

Domestic violence, or domestic abuse, is a major issue in the U.S. While it affects people of all gender identities, surveys suggest that more than 70 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

The problem is more prevalent in California, where about 40 percent of women residents have been abused or threatened by their intimate partners at some point in their lives.

If you live in California, and you’re subjected to domestic violence by someone you have a close relationship with, you can seek the help of law in keeping that person away from you by filing a domestic violence restraining order.

What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is a civil order that helps protect people from abuse or threats from an intimate partner or family member. The order is issued by family courts, where the victim must prove their case in front of the judiciary panel.

Why Do You Need the Court Order?

If the person who abuses or threatens you has lawful right to be in the same property as you—for example, if they are co-tenants with you on a lease—you cannot evict them just like that; they have equal rights on the property as you do. This is where you need the help of the court to evict them.

What Happens After the Order is Issued?

Once a domestic violence restraining order has been issued, your partner or family member must leave the property immediately and deter from further contacting you. If they don’t leave the house or try to establish contact with you after leaving, you can complain to the court. The state of California treats any violations of the restraining order as a serious crime and takes strict actions against those who defy it.

How Long Does the Restraining Order Last?

A permanent restraining order is issued for up to five years. After five years, you can renew the order if you can prove that the person continues to be a threat to you.

Does Your Partner Abuse or Threaten You?

Contact our expert California family law attorneys. Our family law attorneys will guide you through the legal process for applying for a restraining order and help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.



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