Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Child Custody in California

If you are someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, and you obtain a domestic violence restraining order under California law, you need to be aware of the effect it has upon child custody. Where there is a finding by a court that an act of domestic violence has occurred, there is “rebuttable presumption” (meaning the court assumes you don’t get custody unless they can be convinced otherwise) affecting the burden of proof that the perpetrator does not get any custody. In order to rebut the presumption the Court must consider:

1. Giving perpetrator custody is in the best interests of the child.
2. Successful completion of a certified batterer’s treatment program.
3. Successful completion of a parenting class.
4. Compliance with probation and/or parole.
5. Compliance with Restraining Order; and
6. NO further acts of Domestic Violence.

If you are facing a restraining order potentially being granted against you, get a lawyer, especially if you have children. A critical mistake can change the entire course of your life, and that of your children.