Court Can Award Child Custody, Support And Attorney Fees At A Domestic Violence Restraining Order Hearing
Question: Neither my wife or I have filed a petition for divorce. She just filed an application for a temporary restraining order to bar me from our residence, award her sole custody of our son, award her attorney’s fees, child support and spousal support. Can she obtain such an award at a hearing that began over a domestic violence restraining order or must she file for divorce?
Answer: If support and custody and fees were sought by your wife in the initial paperwork, then yes the Judge can award it. You should know that you do not want to have a restraining order against you. If the court makes a finding that a party seeking joint legal or physical custody has perpetrated domestic violence within the previous five years there is a rebuttable presumption that an award of sole or joint legal or physical custody is detrimental to the best interest of the child. See Family Code Section 3044(a). Take immediate action to hire an attorney to oppose the application for the restraining order.