If you have been a victim of domestic violence, it is important to know that you have rights.
Fortunately, the courts no longer turn a blind eye to domestic violence. Spousal abuse is now a crime under state law, protecting girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, and same-sex partners from such violence.
A Compassionate, Experienced Legal Team
At Feinberg & Waller, APC, we are committed to protecting victims and their children from abusers. We can help you file a domestic violence and abuse case in Ventura or Los Angeles County, get a restraining order, and protect your rights under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA).
If you are married to your abuser, we can help you safely divorce them as well. Our experienced, compassionate team will stand by your side and provide professional guidance at every single step of the way.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence?
According to its legal definition, domestic violence is a type of abuse committed against someone within your domestic circle. That means it can be found in intimate relationships between people who are dating, married, living together, or related by blood or marriage.
Domestic violence can take on many different forms. Let’s dive into them.
Common Types of Domestic Violence
The most common types of domestic violence are:
- Causing physical injury or threatening to cause physical injury
- Sexual assault and abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Destroying personal property
- Threatening to harm your loved ones
- Harassment (such as in person, on the phone, online)
- Disturbing one’s peace through coercive control
What Is Coercive Control?
In legal terms, coercive control is a form of domestic violence that involves assaulting, threatening, humiliating, or intimidating the victim to punish or scare them into submission.
Coercive control includes but is not limited to:
- Depriving you of basic needs, such as food, water, and clothing
- Isolating you from others, such as your friends, family, and loved ones
- Infringing on your reproductive autonomy, such as by denying you access to or interfering with your birth control or pressuring you to have a child. This is also known as reproductive coercion.
Divorcing an Abusive Partner in California
It is notoriously hard to leave an abusive relationship, let alone an abusive marriage. If you have been a victim, don’t hesitate to reach out to our compassionate domestic violence attorneys.
We have years of experience working with these sensitive cases, and we will help you leave your marriage without endangering yourself or your children.
A No-Fault Divorce State
California is a no-fault divorce state. That means you do not have to officially give a reason for divorcing your spouse. If you feel it’s safest for you, you won’t have to even broach the topic of domestic violence.
That said, there are benefits to speaking out about what happened:
- Your children will be protected: A family court judge is likely to give you full custody of your children to keep them safe from the abusive parent.
- You will have the chance to find justice: You deserve the closure that comes with bringing your abuser to justice.
- You could protect yourself and your family with a restraining order: Speaking out about abuse can also help you get a domestic violence restraining order against your spouse.
- You may not have to pay spousal support: There are some situations where you may not have to pay spousal support.*
*The issue of domestic violence is always present in any analysis of spousal support. In situations where there has been a criminal conviction for a domestic violence incident within the last 5 years, there is a rebuttable presumption that an award of spousal support to the convicted spouse from the injured spouse is prohibited. The court has the power to listen to evidence that one party may have to rebut that presumption, but the existence of the presumption is a powerful component of the spousal support analysis.
Getting a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is a type of restraining order available to anyone who has been the victim of domestic abuse — whether you are married, dating, or exes.
There are three different types of DVROs:
- Emergency protective order: As the name suggests, this is an emergency restraining order that can last seven days or longer. These orders protect victims while they go to court to get a long-term restraining order.
- Temporary restraining order: Like an emergency protective order, a temporary restraining order is meant to protect the victim while they wait for their court hearing. These orders typically last between 21 and 25 days. They will be taken up to determine if they should be made “permanent” at a hearing, which is set when the temporary restraint order is granted. That hearing is usually scheduled within 21 to 25 days of the issue of the temporary order.
- Restraining order after hearing: The courts typically issue these restraining orders for 1, 3, or 5 years depending upon the facts of the case. Most of these orders are issued for 3 years. It can be very simple to get these orders extended, arguably indefinitely, simply by making an application to extend the order before it expires. The victim needs to tell the court that they continue to be afraid and that their fears are reasonable under the circumstances.
Break the Cycle of Domestic Abuse
If you are a victim, know that you are not alone. Feinberg & Waller, APC, has helped countless clients in Westlake Village and throughout the state break the cycle of abuse. We will protect your rights, your safety, and your family during this difficult time.
Contact a Westlake Village domestic violence lawyer online or at (805) 273-8658. Your consultation is completely confidential.
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