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Posted on July 12, 2017 in Domestic Violence

The sad truth is that domestic abuse occurs far more frequently than is commonly understood. If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic abuse, you may be wondering: What types of protection are available in Family Court?

First and foremost, if you or someone you know are in danger, call the police. Police respond to reports of domestic abuse and will intervene if the domestic abuse is occurring in front of them or if they find it appropriate to arrest someone who they believe committed domestic abuse. Police can ask a judge to issue an Emergency Protective Order (“EPO”) at any time of the day. An EPO is similar to the protective orders available in Family Court.

Anyone can ask the Family Court to issue a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order (“DVTRO”) to protect a person or persons who have been abused or threatened with abuse. The person asking the Court to issue the DVTRO must complete a form and sign an affidavit, stating what abuse has occurred, and what type of protection that person wants.

The types of protections a judge can order are:

  • “stay away” orders prohibiting the abuser from coming within a certain distance of the victim(s), or locations where the victim needs to go, like a school, job, or residence;
  • “no contact” orders prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim by any means;
  • “kick out” orders, which force the abuser to move out of a shared residence;
  • custody and visitation orders.

A judge can even issue child support and spousal support orders in the event the parties have children together and/or are married.

The County of San Diego has developed a packet full of information and the forms necessary to ask a judge for a DVTRO. That packet can be found here. You can fill the forms out yourself, seek the assistance of an attorney, or seek the services of the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinics at any of the San Diego County court locations. These clinics are free and assist people in completing and filing the forms. They do not make court appearances. The contact information for those clinics is located in the packet.

A judge will decide on a request for DVTRO within one business day. The judge will either grant the request for DVTRO or deny it, but the judge will always schedule a hearing on the request for restraining order. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether a permanent restraining order should be issued and how long it should last.

If you have questions about requesting a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, or if there are issues of domestic abuse in your Divorce, Paternity, or Custody and Visitation case, contact the Law Offices of Scott Family Law by calling (858) 974-4900. Scott Family Law is a San Diego divorce attorney with more than 35 years of experience.