Can I Get a Restraining Order?

*If you are currently in danger call 911*

Many people end up in relationships where things get out of hand and there is abuse involved. These troubled relationships can be with a spouse, a partner, a sibling, or even a parent. Nobody should have to suffer through these types of relationships and feel helpless. Seeking a restraining order may be a possibility to help protect you or someone you love.

Q. What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is an order from a court issued to prohibit an individual from engaging in a particular action such as approaching or contacting a specific person.

Q. When can I file a restraining order?

One of the most common reasons for seeking a restraining order is abuse by someone close to you. This type of restraining order is called a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. A Domestic Violence Restraining order can help protect people from further abuse or threats of abuse. There are typically two requirements for the request of a restraining order in California:

1. A person has abused (or threatened to abuse) you;


2. You have a close relationship with that person. You are:

  • Married or registered domestic partners,
  • Divorced or separated,
  • Dating or used to date,
  • Living together or used to live together (more than roommates),
  • Parents together of a child, OR
  • Closely related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law).

If you are a parent, you may file a restraining order on behalf of your child to protect them. If you’re a child over the age of 12, you may file the restraining order on your own.

Q. What can a restraining order do?

Court ordered restraining order can restrain a person to:

  • Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you;
  • Stay away from your home, work, or your children’s schools;
  • Move out of your house (even if you live together);
  • Not have a gun;
  • Follow child custody and visitation orders;
  • Pay child support;
  • Pay spousal or partner support (if you are married or domestic partners);
  • Stay away from any of your pets;
  • Pay certain bills;
  • Not make any changes to insurance policies;
  • Not incur large expenses or do anything significant to affect your or the other person’s property if you are married or domestic partners;
  • Release or return certain property.

Q. What can a restraining order not do?

A restraining order cannot:

  • End your marriage or domestic partnership. It is not a divorce.
  • Establish parentage (paternity) of your children with the restrained person (if you are not married to, or in a domestic partnership with, him or her) UNLESS you and the restrained person agree to parentage of your child or children and agree to the court entering a judgment about parentage.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation where there is abuse or threat of abuse, a restraining order is something that you may consider. A restraining order may be your one option but it may not be your only option. Seeking professional legal counsel in a situation where you think a restraining order is necessary may be your best option in taking steps to resolve your problem. Contact David Knecht, an experienced attorney, by visiting