Restraining Order Impact – The issuance of a Restraining Order can have far-reaching adverse consequences on the restrained person. Aside from the obvious need to stay away from and have no contact with the protected party, a restraining order can negatively impact:
- Employment. Many employers will not hire and may fire anyone who currently has or in the past had a restraining order issued against them. You may lose your state professional license as well.
- Housing. You can be ordered to leave, taking only your toothbrush, medications, wallet, cell phone, and an overnight bag with you.
- Child custody. In California, there is a presumption against the parents sharing joint legal custody if there is a finding of domestic violence. You may have to seek a separate child custody order and your child exchange arrangements will be severely impacted by a restraining order.
- Spousal support. A finding of domestic violence can be used to increase the amount of spousal support (alimony) someone must pay.
- Gun ownership. Under California law, a broad restraining order prohibiting possession of a firearm automatically takes effect upon the issuance of a restraining order. The court must order the restrained person to immediately relinquish any firearms.
- Reputation in the community. A restraining order will show up on a background check and the underlying allegations supporting the request are public record – free for your neighbors, family, friends, and co-workers to see.
- Criminal proceedings. The factual allegations and statements made in the restraining order proceeding could be the basis for criminal charges being filed. Once a restraining order issues, even non-threatening contact (a “technical” violation) can result in criminal charges against you.
These are just some of the collateral impacts of a restraining order. Whether you are seeking or defending against a Domestic Violence (dating/cohabitant/marriage relationship), Civil Harassment (neighbor or co-worker), or Elder Abuse (age 65 or disabled) Restraining Order, you need a qualified lawyer to protect your interests.
This information is general and should not be construed to constitute specific legal advice nor to create an attorney/client relationship.