San Jose Domestic Violence Attorney
Helping Clients Navigate California Domestic Abuse Laws
Dealing with domestic violence can be difficult. It is important to recognize that not all domestic violence is physical in nature. Domestic violence can include but is not limited to:
- Threats and intimidation
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Unwanted or harassing phone calls or text messages
These acts (and others) are domestic violence when they are committed against a partner, spouse, family member, or another person in a close relationship with the accused.
Our San Jose domestic violence attorneys at Foster Hsu, LLP, can help you move forward whether you are a victim of domestic abuse or someone has accused you of it.
Call 408-841-7200 to make an appointment at our San Jose office.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence Under California Law?
In the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, California law defines domestic violence as abuse perpetrated against any of the following people:
- A spouse or former spouse
- A current or former cohabitant (household member)
- A current or former boyfriend/girlfriend/dating partner
- A person that the abuser has a child in common with
- The child of the abuser or a party to the proceedings
- Any person related by blood or marriage within the second degree (grandparent, grandchild, sibling, parent)
“Abuse” is defined in the law, and it is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault. Abuse can include:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury
- Sexual assault
- Placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or another
- Destroying personal property
How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce in California?
A request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order can result in much more than just a restraining order. A judge in a domestic violence case can make many orders which affect divorce and family law matters.
The judge can decide who gets custody of the children and can issue a no-contact order between the alleged perpetrator and the children. Regardless of any orders, the fact of domestic violence itself is a factor for a family law judge who is deciding custody and visitation in a divorce. Domestic violence may cause a judge to grant sole legal and physical custody to the other parent. The judge may also order any visitation to be supervised, or the judge might prohibit any visitation at all.
A domestic violence court order can decide who stays in the family home, including an order for the abuser to stay away from the home. Such as order sets a status quo for child custody and visitation with the children as they typically stay in the home with the protected party. For the children’s continuity and stability, the judge in the divorce may decide to award exclusive use and possession of the family residence to the non-abusive spouse and children who are already living in the home pursuant to a domestic violence order.
Domestic violence court orders can order payment of spousal support or child support.
Additionally, section 4325 of the California Family Code states that a misdemeanor criminal conviction for domestic violence within five years of filing for divorce, or which occurs during the divorce, creates a rebuttable presumption of no spousal support to the convicted spouse from the injured spouse. The court can also set the date of separation to the date of the domestic violence or earlier. Finally, under this section of the law, the court can give the injured spouse 100% of the community property interest in the injured spouse’s retirement and pension.
Compassionate Support For Victims Of Domestic Violence in Santa Clara and Surrounding Counties
Being the victim of domestic violence can be difficult to recognize and admit, especially when the abuse is not physical. You may find yourself in a position where you are trying to convince yourself, as well as the people around you, that there is a problem.
Protecting yourself and your children are what matter most. Talk with a family law attorney to understand your options for dealing with someone who is abusing you.
Building A Strong Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges
Accusations of domestic violence are serious. Depending on the circumstances, you could face consequences in other aspects of your life in addition to any negative repercussions the accusations have on your divorce or child custody case.
It is important to talk with an attorney as soon as someone has accused you in order to limit the damage.
Start Getting Answers to Questions of Domestic Violence in the Bay Area
No matter what side of a domestic violence situation you are on, we can help you understand your options so that you can move forward. Contact our San Jose domestic violence attorneys online or call our office at 408-841-7200 to make an appointment.