Restraining Orders 101: Steps to Take If You’re Experiencing Domestic Violence

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If you are experiencing domestic violence, one way to get relief is by filing for a restraining order. It is important to follow the correct steps when you apply so that you can obtain the protection you deserve. An experienced attorney can help. 

There are four types of restraining orders in California, but today we will focus on domestic violence restraining orders, which are the most common type and require the lowest burden of proof. This type of restraining order is intended for those who are suffering by someone with whom they share an intimate relationship, like a spouse or a cohabiting boyfriend or girlfriend. Let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to file for a restraining order.

Please note that Domestic Violence restraining orders can have major impacts on the child custody and visitation aspects of your case. If you are facing a domestic violence situation, whether you are requesting or defending against a restraining order, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney. 

  1. Paperwork.

You’ll start by filling out a series of forms. Some are standardized while others are particular to certain special circumstances. Your attorney can help you figure out which forms are appropriate for your unique case. Here are some examples of forms you might need to utilize:

Basic forms

  • Form DV-100: Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order
  • Form DV-109: Notice of Court Hearing
  • Form DV-110: Temporary Restraining Order
  • Additional forms required by your local court, if applicable

Forms for applicants with children

  • Form DV-105: Request for Child Custody and Visitation Orders
  • Form DV-140: Child Custody and Visitation Order
  • Form DV-108: Request for Order: No Travel with Children

Forms for monetary support

  • Form FL-150: Income and Expense Declaration
  • Form FL-155: Financial Statement (Simplified)
  1. File your forms at your local courthouse.

Once you’ve completed your forms and reviewed them to make sure your responses are thorough and accurate, you will need to file them at your local court. At this time, a judge will typically issue a temporary restraining order to keep you safe until you have a hearing to determine if a long-term restraining order will be awarded. 

  1. Keep copies of your paperwork with you.

In this interim, it is important to keep copies of all the paperwork with you at all times. If anything happens and the abusive person tries to bother you, you will need to show this documentation to the police.

  1. Serve the abusive person.

You will need to serve your restraining order on the person from whom it protects you. You don’t have to do this in person, of course, but there are strict guidelines for what is considered an acceptable service. Your attorney can help you make sure this is handled correctly.

  1. Court hearing.

Finally, you will attend a court hearing where you will present supporting evidence to show that you do, in fact, need a restraining order. Your abuser will likely be in attendance, so this can be an emotional time. The judge will grant an approval or a denial for your request.

We can help you protect yourself.

The team at MKH Accident Attorneys has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the process of applying for a restraining order or defending against one. Contact us to learn more!

Special note: If you have been accused of abuse and your partner is filing for a restraining order against you, we can help you, too. It is important to handle these allegations properly because they can have a huge impact on any future child custody case you may be involved in. We’ll discuss this further in a future blog!

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MKH Accident Attorneys

Our team is committed to helping those who are in trouble. We broke away from big firms after gaining years of experience, because we realized that this was a way we could give clients a much better and more personalized experience than the norm so many have come to accept.
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