What Do I Do if I am Experiencing Abuse in My Marriage?

Have your loved ones encouraged you to leave your relationship but you cannot figure out what to do or where to go? It is common for those experiencing domestic violence to downplay aspects of the abuse and rationalize why their spouse is engaging in this behavior. The experienced San Jose Family Law attorneys at Mello and Pickering, LLP have aided countless individuals navigate the scope and types of court orders that make the process of leaving more manageable.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence under the California Family Code is defined in intentionally broad terms. For example, domestic violence includes acts of physical harm, emotional harm and financial harm. However, people often do not realize that domestic violence can also include acts that “disturb the peace” of the other party. Does your spouse isolate you from friends, relatives, or other sources of support? Does your spouse monitor your movements or communications? If the answer is yes, you may be entitled to protection under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and the experienced San Jose Family Law attorneys at Mello and Pickering, LLP can assess your case and help you file for a restraining order.

Ten Types of Court Orders You Can Request Within a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Request

Whether you are a victim of emotional, verbal, sexual, or physical abuse, you deserve a safe, healthy life free of any kind of violence. To reduce the risk of being subjected to additional violence, it is often advisable to request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Our experienced team of family law lawyers here at Mello & Pickering, LLP are here to help you determine what types of requests to make in order to ensure your protection. Here are the ten types of requests you can make in a Domestic Violence Restraining Order application:

  1. Order Not to Possess Firearms or Ammunition: If you believe your spouse has any weapons (whether registered or unregistered) you need only notify the court and your spouse will be placed under an order not to possess those firearms. Your spouse will also be ordered to turn in those weapons to the local police department, or sell them to an authorized dealer, and provide proof of the same to the court.
  2. No Contact Order: Clients who experience emotional or verbal abuse almost always request a no contact order. If granted, this order requires that the restrained party not contact you directly or indirectly by any means. No direct contact means the other party is prohibited from contacting you in any manner, whether by telephone, mail, email, social media or any other electronic means. No indirect contact means the other party cannot communicate with you by asking a third party to send messages or gifts on your behalf or posting on social media.
  3. Stay Away Order: Stay away orders require that the restrained party stay a specified distance away from you, including locations you frequent such as your home, your job, your workplace, your vehicle and even the locations your children frequent (if they are listed as a protected party).
  4. Order to Move Out: If you do not have anywhere else to live while the restraining order request is pending, you can request a move out order. If granted, the restrained party will be required to immediately move out of the residence (upon being served with the Temporary Domestic Violence Restraining Order) and will be permitted to only take personal clothing and belongings needed until the hearing. Similarly, you can also request that you be ordered to have sole possession of the property pending hearing.
  5. Child Custody and Visitation Orders: Has your spouse ever threatened you that they will take the children away from you if you report their abuse? If so, you should inform the court of that threat in your initial application and request custody and visitation orders. If there has been violence against the children, or abuse of directly witnessed by the children, you have the ability to request no visitation until the hearing date.
  6. Protection of Animals: Do you have a pet that you would like to protect? If so, you can request that your family pet be listed on the restraining order.
  7. Health Insurance: If your spouse also controls your health insurance, you can request a court order that your spouse be expressly disallowed from changing, transferring, or cancelling the insurance coverage for you and your family.
  8. Payments of Debts Owed for Property: Many of our clients fear that if their abuser is forced out of the home, they will not pay the rent or mortgage for that home. Fortunately, you can request a court order requiring them to continue to pay for rent, utilities, and other household expenses.
  9. Child Support and Spousal Support: Not sure how you are going to pay for your living expenses and know that you require financial support from your abuser? You can request that child support and spousal support be set in your matter. Because this is a financial request, be sure to speak with an experienced San Jose Family Law attorney at Mello & Pickering, LLP as these requests require that additional forms be filed with your initial Domestic Violence Restraining Order application.
  10. Transfer of Wireless Phone Account: Has your spouse tracked you or monitored your phone calls, text messages or your social media? You can request that your phone number be transferred to your own wireless account.

Schedule a Consultation with a San Jose Family Law Attorney

If you are ready to leave an abusive marriage, the experienced attorneys at Mello and Pickering, LLP can provide the legal support and advocacy you need. From filing a restraining order on your behalf to protecting your rights and assets in the divorce, we are dedicated to helping you secure a safe future with financial security and confidence, free of abuse and violence. For your consultation, call (408) 288-7800 or email mpllp@sjfamilylaw.com.

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