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What protections does a restraining order in California provide?

A restraining order is a powerful tool against domestic violence. California residents who are being abused by their spouse, partner or a close relative may need to seek a restraining order to protect themselves or their child. A restraining order can keep a person safe from their abuser. It is important, then, to understand what a restraining order can do and what it cannot do.

First of all, a restraining order can make it so that the abuser cannot have contact with the victim, or the victim's children, relatives and pets. A restraining order can also make it so that the abuser cannot go to the victim's residence, place of employment or the victim's child's school. In fact, even if the victim and abuser resided together, a restraining order can force the abuser to move out of their shared residence.

Moreover, a restraining order can make it so the abuser cannot own a firearm. Per the restraining order, an abuser must abide by any child custody and visitation orders, and also must make child support and spousal support payments if required to do so. In addition, a restraining order can force the abuser to give the victim exclusive rights to a cell phone number. There may be certain bills the abuser must pay and the abuser cannot alter any existing insurance policies. If the abuser and victim are married, the abuser cannot incur significant expenses. Finally, the abuser may have to go through a 52-week intervention program.

There are a few things that a restraining order cannot do, however. It is not possible for a person to end his or her marriage through a restraining order. To end a marriage, a person must file for a divorce. In addition, a restraining order cannot be used as a means to establish paternity unless the victim and abuser agree to do so.

In the end, a restraining order is sometimes necessary to keep a person or child safe from domestic abuse. Those who want more information about what a restraining order can and cannot do may want to consult with their attorneys who can assess their situation and advise them as to their rights.

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