In situations involving domestic violence between romantic partners or certain family members, the Domestic Violence Prevention Act grants victims the ability to request a civil restraining order for a duration of up to five years and in some cases forever upon renewal. As the name implies, the most common orders contained in a restraining order are prohibitions to the abuser from harassing, attacking, striking, assaulting, disturbing the peace, stalking, and coming within a court-specified distance of the victim(s). In addition, a restraining order action also permits either party the ability to request other orders such as temporary child and spousal support, attorney’s fees, custody and visitation, debt payments, property control, and residence exclusion orders.
Particularly when children are involved, restraining order actions may become highly contentious and adversarial. Actions may also involve cross restraining order requests or mutual allegations of domestic violence in which the court will need to make a determination as to which party is the primary aggressor. Evidentiary hearings, formal discovery, and requests for factual findings of the trial court are becoming increasingly more common in restraining order actions. Our attorneys are well prepared to handle all of these situations and will support you throughout this difficult legal process.
This section discusses civil restraining orders issued by family law judges. There are other types of restraining orders such as Emergency Protective Orders and Criminal Protective Orders which are issued by the criminal courts. In addition, a civil harassment order, as opposed to a domestic violence restraining order, may be appropriate for stopping abuse or harassment when the parties do not have a romantic or familial relationship.