I Am a Victim of Domestic Violence, What are My Options?
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you can seek orders from the Court to protect you from such violence or threats of violence at the hands of a family member or someone you date or live with, by filing a Temporary Restraining Order with the Court.
You can generally obtain an emergency Temporary Restraining Order the same day as requested. Such orders can order the perpetrator of the domestic violence to stay 100 yards away from you, your home, your vehicle and your place of employment. The order can also order the perpetrator to move out of the house temporarily and to not have any contact or communications with you of any kind. Finally, the Court can make temporary orders regarding child custody and visitation of the parties’ children, and payment of bills and child support under the Temporary Restraining Order.
If the Court grants the request for a Temporary Restraining Order, the Court will schedule an Order to Show Cause hearing within 21 days thereafter, and the temporary restraining order will only be effective until the next hearing. The purpose of the Order to Show Cause hearing is to give the perpetrator the right to respond to the allegations and for the Court to determine where the restraining order should be continued for up to five years.
The restrained person must be personally served with a certified copy of the emergency Temporary Restraining Order granted by the Court which provides notice of the Order to Show Cause hearing.
In addition, if you called 911 at the time of the domestic violence incident and the perpetrator was arrested, that person (who can be your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend) might be simultaneously prosecuted for domestic violence criminal charges independent of your restraining order proceeding in Family Court. This should not stop you from seeking a Family Law restraining order.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, by visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com or calling (949) 553-0304.
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