ESAEdwards-Swift & AssociatesFamily Law

A restraining order is a Court order issued to prevent the recurrence of acts of abuse by a batterer. Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, abuse is defined as any of the following:

  • 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 to another.
  • Engaging in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined such as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting the other by mail or otherwise, disturbing the peace of the other party.
  • The act(s) of abuse/violence must be recent, within thirty days, and the batterer must be a spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, someone with whom the victim has or has had a dating relationship, an immediate family member (mother, father, in-laws, siblings, adult children), or a person with whom a party has a child/ren together. A victim that is a target of abuse but does not have the necessary relationship to the batterer may file a civil harassment restraining order, discussed below.

The restraining order can include the following: restraints on personal conduct by the batterer; orders for the batterer to stay-away from the victim's home/work and/or children's school; orders for the batterer to be removed from the residence; child custody and visitation and support orders and other miscellaneous orders.

Souce: Los Angeles Superior Court - Family Law

Who Will Protect the Children?

In my practice as a family law attorney, I frequently see parents, whom you would expect to protect their children, do very strange things. No matter what your opinion is about Michael Jackson and whether or not you believe he is a pedophile, would you allow your child to spend the night alone with a non-relative adult male? What were all of these parents thinking? Did they know that something just wasn’t right, yet they craved the attention from a celebrity? Did they “sell” their children so that they could enjoy Michael Jackson’s hospitality? Or were they just plain stupid? Whatever the case may be they were not protecting their child.

It was not just the families of the alleged victim and prior victims affected by this case. What about Michael Jackson’s own children? If the mother of those children had an ounce of sense, she would be in a family law court gaining custody of those children, even with a “not guilty” verdict. She won’t do it though. If she was, she would have done it when the charges were originally filed.

Unfortunately, most family law cases involve innocent children. What parents embroiled in a divorce need to remember is that their children need to be protected throughout the divorce proceeding as best they can. Shield them from the court proceedings. Shield them from your negative feelings about the other parent. Don’t use your children as a weapon or pawn against the other parent. Protect your children as best you can, even from yourself. Don’t use your child as a confidant or in some other fashion for your own personal emotional needs. Stay focused on your child and what is in each child’s best interest, even if it does not suit your interests. And, whatever you do, protect your child.

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Pamela Edwards-Swift

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Pamela Edwards-Swift, Esq.

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