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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is common between spouses and unmarried partners, but not every claim of domestic violence is genuine.

Domestic Violence may result in criminal charges when police become involved. A party can also apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order based upon allegations of domestic violence against a domestic partner or spouse. As part of this application a party can request orders for custody, support, and property control as well as orders of restraint and other orders. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order can have an important impact in a divorce or custody dispute. The testimony and cross examination of the applicant and presentation of evidence at the Restraining Order hearing can be critical in determining whether a Restraining Order is granted.


California domestic violence laws define abuse to include:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
  • Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.

The physical abuse is not just hitting. Abuse can be kicking, shoving, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring or following, or keeping a person from freely coming and going. Abuse can include physical abuse of the family pets.

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