According to the Administration for Children and Families, there is an expanding body of literature revealing that children who have been exposed to domestic violence have a greater likelihood than their peers to experience a wide range of challenges. These can be behavioral, social or emotional problems. Children involved in domestic violence can also display cognitive or attitudinal problems. Lastly, there may even be far reaching effects and long-term problems these children may deal with as they grow. This is why protecting children during these types of ordeals is crucial.
If you are a parent, you can include your children on the restraining order (or protective order) that you file. You will likely need to list the names and ages of all members of the family who you wish to be protected by the document. You must demonstrate that the abuser attempted to cause or did cause physical harm to you or your child; OR that the abuser caused you or your child to fear imminent serious physical harm; or that abuser used force or threats to trigger you or your child to be involved in sexual relations against your will.
Although the document is meant to protect you from verbal, mental and physical harm, as well as anyone else you ask to be protected, the person whom you are restraining has already proven to be a violent person. In many cases, it is likely that the presence of a protective order might incite more hostility from the dangerous person. It is important that you as well as your children are safe from harm.
If there is no current order in regards to custody of the children from the Probate and Family Court, the restraining order could award you custody of your children. A restraining order can also stop the abusive parent from communicating with your children. The court may also address visitation. You will likely have the ability to request that the abusive parent only spend time with the children at specified times, or under court appointed supervision.
Protecting children in domestic violence situations is of utmost importance, and their safety is vital. The Law Office of Ann A. Thomson in Orange County provides protection for victims of domestic violence throughout Southern California. Call Ann’s office at 562-431-4333 or contact her for information or to request a free initial consultation.