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Protective Order attorney in el cajon

What do I Do if my Spouse Violates a Protective Order?

In California, protective orders (also known as restraining orders) are used to protect an individual who is being harassed, stalked, threatened, or abused. For example, a protective order may be placed on an abusive spouse that restricts them from coming within a certain distance of the other spouse for a specified period of time. It is unlawful for the restrained person to violate a protective order, and a violation can result in harsh consequences.

California Protective Order Basics

Protective orders/restraining orders are court orders that protect the endangered person from harm. There are several different types of protective orders in California, these include:

  • Domestic Violence Protective Orders: Domestic violence restraining orders are among the most common, and they are used to protect an individual from someone they have a close relationship with. A protective order against a spouse would fall into this category. Other examples include protective orders against the former spouses, current or former cohabitating partners, current or former individuals they were in a dating relationship with, parents, grandparents, children, siblings, anyone closely related to them by blood, marriage, or adoption, or anyone who lives regularly in their home.
  • Civil Harassment Protective Orders: Civil harassment restraining orders are used to protect an individual from someone who they do not have a close relationship with, and which would not be considered a domestic relationship. Examples may include former friends, neighbors, roommates, and distant family members who would not qualify for a domestic violence protective order.
  • Workplace Violence Protective Orders: This type of protective order protects employees who have been victims of threats, harassment, stalking, or violence from a coworker or someone else in the workplace. Workplace violence restraining orders can only be requested by the employer on behalf of an endangered employee. The employee cannot request the order themselves. However, an employee could request a domestic violence or civil harassment protective order depending on their relationship with the restrained person.
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Protective Orders: Individuals who are 65 years of age or older or disabled and between the ages of 18 and 64 can request an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order to protect them from physical, mental, or psychological abuse, neglect or abandonment, financial abuse, deprivation, or any other treatment that is physically or mentally harmful to the victim by a caregiver for whom the victim relies for their basic needs.
  • Emergency Protective Orders: When there is immediate danger, an emergency restraining order can be requested by a law enforcement officer any time 24/7. Emergency orders are limited in duration, and the victim will need to request an extension of the order or obtain a new order to lengthen the duration.

What to Do when your Spouse Violates a Protective Order

If your spouse intentionally disobeys any of the provisions of a protective order, there are some steps you should take:

  • Contact the Police: If your spouse’s violation of the protective order puts you in danger, call the police right away. Show the police a copy of the order, and if your spouse is there and has not been served, ask the police officer to serve them. The police could also choose to arrest your spouse for violating the order, and they could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on if this is a first or subsequent violation. Criminal penalties may include heavy fines and jail time.
  • Retain Evidence of the Violation: Gather as much evidence as possible to prove that your spouse violated the protective order. Write down, in as much detail as you can, what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. Obtain statements from anyone who may have witnessed the event. Retain copies of any threatening voicemails, text messages, emails, social media posts, or any other type of electronic messages. If you were injured, obtain copies of your medical report.
  • Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney: If the involvement of the police has not deterred your spouse from violating the protective order, get in touch with a seasoned family law attorney to discuss your legal options. The next step may be to file a contempt of court action for violating the order. This is a powerful remedy, however, and it could land your spouse in jail. This is also a complicated action that requires you to prove that your spouse knew about the protective order and willfully violated it. For this reason, contempt of court actions should only be used as a last resort.

For immediate help with protective orders and any other type of family legal matter in San Diego, El Cajon, and throughout Southern California, contact the experienced attorneys at Garmo and Garmo. Call our office today at 619-441-2500 or send us a message through our web contact form.

how divorce affects your credit

Will a Divorce Negatively Impact my Credit Score?

Filing for a divorce is one of the most consequential decisions anyone ever has to make. There are many factors to consider, and emotions always run high. Getting a divorce will impact you in numerous ways. Your marital assets will be divided (hopefully in a fair and equitable manner), and if there are children involved, you will need to work out issues such as child support, child custody and visitation. There are also financial implications beyond just the division of assets.

For example, there are now two households to support with the same overall income. This means double the housing payments, leaving less disposable income and a lower standard of living for everyone. There may also be tax implications that couples are not aware of.

Another possible area of concern during a divorce is your credit. Your ability to borrow money for the best interest rates and most favorable terms and conditions could be extremely important, especially during the transition from being married to becoming single again. One question divorcing spouses often ask is “will a divorce negatively impact my credit score?”

There are actually two answers to this question. The short answer is “no”, the act of filing for divorce does not have any direct impact on your credit score, because your marital status has nothing to do with your creditworthiness. So, if all other factors remained the same, dissolving your marriage could leave you with the same credit rating you had before you filed for divorce. That said, things do not remain static when you are going through a divorce, and there are some indirect ways your credit score could be negatively impacted by the process.

Here are two of the most common ways a divorce could negatively impact your credit score:

Inability to Pay your Bills

As mentioned earlier, divorce can have a major financial impact on the household. When spouses are living apart, they now have more bills to pay with the same amount of income. Not to mention that divorcing spouses often need to come up with thousands of dollars to cover their legal fees. The financial cost of the divorce could cause you to get behind on one or more of your credit accounts. And since on time payments are one of the major factors that go into your credit score, even a few late payments could cause your score to drop significantly. There is no easy solution to this issue. You will either need to live on less or earn more. Ideally, you should try to do both.

Spouse Doesn’t Pay Joint Accounts

During the course of the marriage, it is highly likely that you and your spouse opened some credit accounts together. As the marriage comes to an end, these accounts need to be dealt with. There may be some accounts that you are responsible to pay, and there may be some accounts that your spouse is responsible to pay. Just because a court rules that your spouse is responsible for a certain debt, however, this does not mean you are off the hook. If your name is on an account, you made a contract with the lender to make payments per the terms and conditions of the loan. This means that if your spouse does not make timely payments on those joint accounts, or refuses to pay them at all, it will affect both your credit scores.

There are a few ways to deal with this potential situation. First of all, once you become aware that you are getting a divorce, close all joint accounts that have no outstanding balances. This will limit the amount of financial damage that could be done, which is especially important if you have a spouse who is a spendthrift and/or has a tendency to be vindictive. Also, do everything possible to limit the number of joint accounts that your spouse will be responsible for when the divorce is finalized. For example, if your spouse is taking ownership of the marital home, insist that it is refinanced and placed in their name only. If they are not willing to do this, do not relinquish ownership of your portion of the property.

If there are joint accounts that cannot be closed, be sure to monitor them closely and make sure that your ex-spouse is paying them as agreed. To protect yourself even further, insist on and indemnity clause being written into the final divorce decree. An indemnity clause gives you the right to file a civil claim against your ex-spouse in the event that they do not pay the debts they are supposed to, and you decided to pay them to protect your credit.

Speak with a Compassionate San Diego Family Law Attorney

If you are facing a divorce, there are many ways that it will affect your life, and it is important to have skilled counsel by your side to provide legal guidance and moral support. At Garmo & Garmo, we understand how divorce impacts our clients, and we work closely with them to provide the strong personalized representation they need and deserve. For a consultation with one of our attorneys, call us today at 619-441-2500 or send us a message through our web contact form.