Claremont Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence is an incredibly pervasive problem across the State of California. According to the Riley Center, a shelter for survivors of abuse, one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime. Over 10% of all homicides in California are within the realm of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a serious, ubiquitous issue, and if you experience domestic violence in your home, it is vital that you contact the appropriate authorities and get out of the hostile situation as soon as you can.
The California domestic violence family law attorneys at Blasser Law can help. We have years of experience dealing with the complicated and delicate issues surrounding domestic violence and abuse in the home. We will work with you to secure the best outcome for you and your family, whether that means pursuing a restraining order, criminal referral, divorce, custody determinations, or alternative solutions such as therapy and anger management. You have the right to feel safe and secure in your home, and we are here to help.
What is Domestic Violence?
The definition of domestic violence is broader than many realize, including behaviors that people wrongly believe they must suffer or tolerate. Domestic violence is any physical or sexual abuse committed against a family or household member or any person with which the abuser has an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can apply to current or former significant others, any close family member of the accused, spouses, a person with whom the accused has a child, cohabitating roommates, or children. Abuse includes the threat of physical harm, as well as other behavior such as harassment, stalking, destruction of property, or harming the family pet. Physical harm includes behaviors like hitting, kicking, shoving, pulling hair, biting, scaring, or throwing things. Moreover, domestic violence can include verbal, mental or emotional abuse meant to intimidate or exercise control.
If You Experience Domestic Violence, Leave the Home
If you experience domestic violence or witness violence against another household member or child, and you live with the abuser, leave the residence with your children as soon as possible. If you are in immediate danger, call the police or ask neighbors or passersby for help. Once you are safe, take photos to document the evidence of any abuse. Next, you may want to request a restraining order. A California domestic violence attorney can help.
Victims of domestic violence can seek a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO). You do not owe a filing fee to request a DVRO, and you do not need to be married or in an active relationship with an abuser to claim domestic violence or seek a DVRO. DVROs come in three forms: emergency protective orders, temporary (ex parte) restraining orders, and final DVROs after a hearing. Emergency orders last up to a week and are for situations where there is an immediate threat of violence to you or a child; they are typically requested by a police officer responding to a domestic violence call. Temporary orders can go into effect after you have applied for a DVRO and are waiting for your court date if you are in immediate danger and need protection right away. Final DVROs are available after hearings and can last up to five years, with an option to renew or extend permanently at the end of the five-year period.
DVROs can include any or all of the following provisions:
- Force the alleged abuser (the respondent) to leave the home, even if they own the title or lease
- Prevent contact between the abuser and victim
- Prohibit the abuser from assaulting, stalking, or making threatening phone calls to the petitioner
- Prohibit the abuser from possessing a firearm
- Order the respondent to pay the petitioner for lost wages, medical bills, or other expenses resulting from abuse
- Order the respondent to pay child support
- Temporarily alter custody or visitation rights for shared children
Domestic Violence and Divorce
Domestic violence can be both a cause and an effect of divorce. Domestic violence may be hard to prove. Fortunately, California is a no-fault state, so you can seek a divorce without having to prove abuse. Moreover, if you fear for your safety, you can simply cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorce without being vocal about the abuse.
A domestic violence conviction can help you in the divorce process. If your spouse has been convicted, you will have a more favorable position in negotiating for assets. More importantly, if your spouse has been convicted of domestic violence or if violence has otherwise been proven, courts are much more likely to agree to a sole custody arrangement to protect the children from potential harm. You must provide evidence of the alleged abuse if you intend to use domestic violence as a basis for seeking sole custody. Your California divorce lawyer can help you decide whether and how to bring up or prove domestic violence in your divorce proceeding.
Get Compassionate Advice and Professional Assistance if You or a Loved One Have Suffered Domestic Violence in California
For knowledgeable, understanding, and dedicated help with domestic violence or other family law issues in California, contact a domestic violence attorney at the Claremont offices of Blasser Law at 877-927-2181.