Am I A Victim of Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence

Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. According to the California Women‘s Health Survey (CWHS), approximately 40 percent of California women experience violence from a partner in their lifetimes.

If you think you may be a victim of domestic violence, here are some facts to consider.

Do I Need a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

    • Domestic violence is bodily injury, sexual assault, and threats perpetrated against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, a person in a dating/engagement relationship, the parent who has a child with the abuser, and blood-relatives. (California Family Code §6203, Family Code §6211, and Family Code §6320)

(1) You and/or your child are in immediate and present danger of domestic violence by a family or household member based on recent incidents of abuse. 

(2) Your child is in immediate and present danger of abuse or abduction by a family or household member. 

    • On a showing of good cause, the San Diego County Family Court may give you the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned by you.

Should I Retain an Attorney?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, have had a violent domestic dispute, or you have a child who has been abused, an experienced family law attorney can help. They can help you protect yourself and your loved ones by filing and obtaining a domestic violence restraining order.

These orders may include the following: 

(1) Removal of the abusive party from the home and ordering him or her to stay away from you, the home, the child’s school, and your workplace.

(2) Enjoining the abuser from molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, and calling you.

(3) Child custody/supervised visitation arrangements

(4) Spousal and child support

An experienced family law attorney will gather evidence, work with you to prepare your case, and will appear in court with you to obtain a domestic violence restraining order. If the abuser violates the restraining orders, your attorney will take the steps necessary to enforce the orders. They will be an important advocate for you and your family, which is invaluable during such a difficult time. 

What If I’m Accused of Domestic Violence?

If you have been accused of domestic violence and you’re asking yourself, “Should I hire an attorney,” you’ll want to know your options. Unfortunately, allegations of domestic violence are often used to gain custody advantages, get control of the family residence, gain an advantage related to certain assets, or avoid potential support obligations. 

Since violence can be proven only by a preponderance of the evidence, you must be prepared to refute the allegations and fight the request for a restraining order. With respect to custody and visitation, California law, including Family Code §3044, provides that if domestic violence is established, your rights to have legal and physical custody and visitation with your children will be severely restricted. This is because existing law establishes a rebuttable presumption that sole or joint custody should not be awarded to the party who has been found to have committed domestic violence.

Resisting the allegations and the application for these orders at the outset, with the help of an experienced family law attorney, is crucial if you are innocent of the allegations.

There are high stakes associated with domestic violence charges against you because your parenting rights, reputation, job, and ability to obtain credit are affected by allegations of abuse and criminal charges. Investing in an experienced family law attorney may be worth it because he or she will work to clear you of the charges that will allow you to move forward with your life.

JWB Family Law has an expert team that knows how to gather evidence, to work with a private investigator if necessary, and to prepare your defense for a variety of domestic violence cases. If you’ve been wondering if you should hire a family law attorney, contact us today and we will help you through the process.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriagechild and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.

Surviving a second divorce

Finances tend to be more complicated as second divorces generally happen later in life when folks have accumulated more assets.

California divorce rates and facts

Recent divorce studies found that disagreeing about finances on a regular basis, lacking a college education, when one or both spouses are alcoholics, and being in a low income bracket are all linked with a higher divorce rate.

Should you file for divorce before the holidays?

The holidays are right around the corner, and if you are seriously considering filing for a divorce, you may be struggling with the thought of filing before the holiday season. While there is no good time to file for divorce, there are pros and cons to filing before...

Should You File For Legal Separation or Divorce?

Separated but not legally separated: Many people leave their partners on a trial basis and are living separately; however, they want a trial separation to see whether they can work things out.  They often wrongly assume that after they leave, they are “legally...

How to find success with a child custody case in California

What do Judges look for in deciding custody and visitation cases? In custody and visitation cases in California, the biggest consideration is the best interest of the child(ren). In deciding what is in a child’s best interest, the Court considers stability, frequent...

Alternatives to Divorce: Mediation as a Solution to COVID

Divorce can be a difficult process. It presents its own set of challenges: making the decision to file, deciding who stays in the family home, sharing the children, and sparing them the angst and anxiety you may experience. Add the COVID pandemic and all of a sudden,...

Is Domestic Violence a Felony?

Yes, domestic violence can be a felony. A criminal case begins when someone reports an incident of domestic violence to law enforcement. If an arrest happens, criminal charges may be filed by the District Attorney. What is considered domestic violence? California...

How is Spousal Support Calculated?

In California, there are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent (or long-term support).  Temporary support is support that is ordered before your final judgment of dissolution. Permanent or long-term support is ordered either at trial or through...

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in CA?

If you plan to file for a divorce in the state of California, you're probably wondering how long the divorce process will take to complete. The answer to that question is—it depends. Under California family law, a couple cannot be divorced until at least six months...

JWB Family Law Adds Anne B. Howard ESQ., as a Senior Associate Attorney

JWB Family Law is expanding its team to welcome Anne B. Howard, ESQ, as a Senior Associate Attorney. Anne brings extensive expertise in family law to the team, specializing in child support, paternity, asset, and property division, and divorce. “I was drawn to the...