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Answers To Common Questions About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence and accusations of domestic violence are both difficult and common problems I address at Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation. My Los Angeles firm offers reassurance and protection of your rights and safety in a domestic violence situation. I have been answering client questions regarding domestic violence law for over 30 years. Some common questions I receive include:

What, exactly, is domestic violence?

California law defines domestic violence based on the types of abuse allegedly inflicted and by the relationship of the people involved. The affected people (the perpetrator and the target) may be current or former spouses, domestic partners, romantic partners, co-parents or close relatives by blood or marriage. Abuse may be physical, but it can also be verbal, which may involve threats and actions intended to produce fear or intimidation.

What should I do if I am a victim of domestic violence?

If you are a victim of domestic violence or feel unsafe, you can call our office at 805-991-4529 right away for help. You may also take additional steps, including:

  • Filing a police report or contact a domestic violence shelter near you
  • Asking a judge for a civil restraining order
  • Asking law enforcement agents or a court to enforce the restraining order
  • Reporting restraining order violations to law enforcement, which may result in criminal charges and a criminal protective order

You also may have the option of renewing or extending a restraining order.

What can I do to address a domestic violence allegation against me?

Domestic violence allegations should always be treated seriously. These accusations can result in heavy civil and criminal consequences. The important thing is for you to act quickly to defend yourself and not ignore the matter. If a judge has issued a temporary restraining order, you will have a chance to respond at the hearing for the permanent restraining order.

How long does it take to get a restraining order?

There are two types of civil restraining orders for domestic violence in California. Our office can often get a temporary restraining order (TRO) within one day, which lasts until the court can hold a hearing date on a permanent restraining order. TROs often last from 20 to 25 days, or until the court hearing.

My partner has verbally threatened and abused me but has not physically hurt me. Can I still file for a restraining order?

Yes. Emotional and verbal abuse is still abuse under domestic violence laws, as is stalking. These actions evoke fear and intimidation and can escalate to physical violence.

My spouse or partner has abused or threatened to abuse me or my children. Will this affect my family law case?

Yes, it may affect the outcome of your California divorce or child custody case. Ask your family law attorney to help you pursue relief in one of these ways:

  • If you are in the process of seeking or planning for divorce and you report the domestic violence to a family law judge, that judge may compel the abuser to pay your attorney’s fees.
  • If you have a pending child custody case and the family law judge learns about the domestic violence, that judge may order supervision of child visitation.

Do You Have More Questions About Domestic Violence?

Request a consultation with me, Steven Stolar, if you have suffered the effects of domestic violence or if you have been accused of domestic violence in the Los Angeles area. Call 310-800-2132 or complete my online form. I can help protect your rights and, when appropriate, your confidentiality.

Family Law