Asking for a restraining order to protect children

Parents who have left a marriage where domestic violence was involved may be concerned for the safety of their children. If a child’s safety is threatened, parents should immediately inform the authorities. In some cases, California parents can also file for a restraining order on behalf of their children. 

Is a restraining order needed? 

Before requesting a restraining order, it is important to consider whether it is right for the specific situation. A restraining order means the ex-partner will probably not be able to go near the children, at least for the time being, so it’s a very significant decision. Of course, to obtain a restraining order, the parent will need to provide evidence or proof of the threats or abuse. In some cases, it may be appropriate to consider a different parenting plan instead of filing for a restraining order. 

Qualifying and filing 

If the situation is abusive, always think safety first. If supervised visits or custody plan modifications are not enough to ensure safety then file for a restraining order. The parent can file on behalf of children if they are younger than 18, but there are certain qualifications that must be met before filing to protect the rights of both parties. Generally, a parent can file a request for a restraining order for the children if they were abused or threatened by the person and there is a first or second-degree relationship with the person. 

Get help 

A restraining order can help to keep parents and children safe while the court considers any requests to modify the parenting plan. If the court determines the other parent committed domestic violence, custodial rights could be revoked. Those in California who want to know more about restraining orders and how to protect themselves and their children should speak with an experienced family law attorney.