Domestic Violence Lawyers Santa Rosa, CA | Sonoma County
Domestic Violence Is A Crime
In California, domestic violence is a crime. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior where one partner tries to maintain control of the other through the use of physical force, intimidation and threats.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as when your current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, someone you have a child in common with, someone you live or lived with, or someone you are related to through blood or marriage does one of the following:
- Causes or attempts to cause you physical injury
- Sexually assaults you
- Makes you fear that you or another person is in danger of immediate, serious physical injury
- Molests, attacks, strikes, batters (uses force), or stalks you
- Threatens or harasses you – either in person or through phone calls, emails, etc.
- Destroys your personal property
- Disturbs your peace
How Can I Stop Domestic Violence?
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is a civil court order that is signed by a judge and tells the abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence to both female and male victims.
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order can order the abuser to not do the following to you, your children, and or your family or other household members: Assault, threaten, abuse, follow, stalk, sexually assault, destroy the property of, come within a certain distance of, disturb the peace of, harass or make contact (directly or indirectly) on the telephone or by other means.
The Domestic Violence Restraining Order can also:
- Grant you the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned or held by either you, the abuser, or a child residing in either of your households and order the abuser to stay away from and not harm the animal
- Grant you temporary possession of things that you own together such as a second home, a car, a computer, etc. The judge can also order the abuser to pay ongoing debts associated with those items
- Order the abuser to be removed from the home you are both living in together even if you do not own the home or you are not the tenant
- Order the abuser to pay child support and spousal support (if you are married)
- Prohibit the abuser from possessing or purchasing a firearm or ammunition
- Order the abuser to pay back money you lost for missing work or other expenses (such as ambulance, medical, dental, shelter, counseling and/or legal fees) that resulted from the abuse
- Order the abuser to pay your attorney fees if you are unable to pay them and if the abuser earns more money than you do
- Order the abuser to attend a batterer’s treatment program or other counseling service
What exactly a DVRO will cover depends on the judge and the circumstances of your case. It’s important to provide as much information as possible to your attorney and the court when requesting a restraining order so that you can obtain the fullest protection possible.
Domestic Violence And Children
If you and the abuser have children together, you may also ask the judge to grant additional things such as:
- Temporary child custody and visitation – The judge can decide where the child will live, which parent will make decisions affecting the child, and how the child will spend time with each parent (including where, when, and whether that time is supervised or not).
- Child support payments – You may ask the judge to order the abuser to pay child support according to California’s guidelines.
Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.
If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of domestic violence, Vonder Haar Law can assist in obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, as well as other concerns such as child custody and child support.
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