If you have been served a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in California, here are the steps to take:

1. READ THE ORDER

The order is going to tell you what you can and cannot do. It will probably tell you to stay 100 yards from your ex. It will also probably tell you to not contact them, don’t go near their home, work etc. Read it!!!

If the order involves children, and applies to the children, follow it. Turn over your firearms and do everything it says. If you decide to violate the order, that will be considered a crime and you will be charged and easily convicted.

2. CALL AN ATTORNEY

If you are convinced you are going to be able to handle this without an attorney good luck with that. The court system is not designed for people unfamiliar with it. It’s not user-friendly. This is not time to be proud, or cheap. Protect yourself.

3. FILE A RESPONSE

If you don’t tell your side of the story, guess whose story ends up being seen as the truth? The one who told it. Don’t let them get away with create a false narrative about what happened. Tell your side.

4. APPEAR IN COURT

Under no circumstances are you to fail to appear. If you do not, they will grant it, and it can last anywhere from 3-5 years. The results? Lose custody, pay full child support, lose your house, lose your job. Do I have your attention?

5. ASK FOR A CONTINUANCE TO GET A LAWYER

If you appear in court, don’t let the train coming down the tracks run you over. The judge is almost certainly going to give you a chance to get representation. DO IT!!!

6. IF YOU GET A LAWYER, LISTEN TO HIM/HER

The reason you hire a lawyer is because they understand this world. You don’t. Although you may be convinced your friends who went through a divorce once have a handle on things, trust the professionals who do this for a living. 90% of lawyers care about what they do and are good at it. There is a lot of bullshit about lawyer, judges, and the courts. Although some of the scarier stories are frankly true, most of them are not. Don’t fall for the hype.