Prevention of Domestic Violence

The Family Code authorizes the court to make orders to prevent the abuse where acts of domestic violence have been perpetrated by a spouse, cohabitant, boyfriend, girlfriend, child or relative of the victim. [Family Code §6211] To protect such people from further acts of domestic violence, the Court is empowered to issue protective orders, either on an emergency ("ex parte") basis or after a full hearing.

There are several categories of domestic violence prevention orders that can be made, either in the dissolution case, or in a separate domestic violence prevention case:

Orders enjoining specific acts of abuse .

The complaining party can request that the other party be restrained from ". . . molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, annoying telephone calls. . ." [Family Code §6320(b)] In addition, the responding party can be restrained from destroying property or contacting the victim.

Orders excluding a person from a dwelling .

Where the Court finds that the responding party has assaulted or threatened to assault the complaining party, or a minor child in that person's custody, the responding party can be ordered to vacate a common dwelling. But such an order can be made only if the Court concludes that the complaining or a minor child will suffer physical or emotional harm in the absence of the requested order.

Orders for Temporary Child custody and Visitation with a Minor Child .

The Court can issue temporary child custody and visitation orders where it finds that such orders are necessary ". . . to limit the child's exposure to potential domestic violence and to ensure the safety of all family members. . ."

Orders Providing for the Temporary Control of Property

The Court can make temporary orders which provide that one of the spouses is to have management and control of real estate or personal property owned by the parties.

Orders Respecting Community and Separate Property

The Court has the power to issue orders restraining the responding party from disposing of any community property or separate property, except in the ordinary course of business or for the necessities of life.