Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence & Civil Harassment Attorneys | Kleeman Kremen Family Lawyers

Everyone is entitled to a relationship free of abuse. Our firm takes abuse cases very seriously. If we determine your situation involves domestic violence that needs to be restrained, we will do everything in our power to ensure you are legally protected.

If you are accused of domestic violence, and you believe your situation does not warrant the issuance of a restraining order, we evaluate these situations, and will provide a strong defense.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to seek help immediately. There are many local and legal resources for those experiencing domestic violence.

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What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (also referred to as intimate partner violence) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. 

Domestic violence is not limited to punching and kicking. Domestic violence can include psychological and emotional abuse as well. Often, abusers will use multiple forms of abuse to maintain control. 

Examples of domestic violence include the following:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly Sexual assault 
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone) 
  • Harassment 
  • Stalking 
  • Threatening 
  • Disturbing someone’s peace (conduct the destroys mental and emotional well-being including forms of “coercive control”) 
  • Destroying someone’s personal property 

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

When a person is threatened with physical or severe emotional harm by a spouse, domestic partner, cohabitant, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or close relative, the person can apply to the court, including on an emergency basis, for issuance of restraining orders to prevent harm.

In the context of the domestic violence action, a party can also obtain orders determining parentage, for child support, spousal support, child custody orders, control and return of property, and for attorney fees.

Once a restraining order is issued there are mandatory orders for relinquishment of firearms.

What California Law Says About Domestic Abuse

Over the past several years, California has expanded both the definition of abuse, and the ways in which victims of abuse can be protected. The law recognizes that victims need protection from gun violence, need confidentiality to protect their whereabouts, and need remedies for stalking and online posting of intimate and or intimidating images and language. The law also recognizes that perpetrators of abuse sometimes use the court system itself to continue to cause victims harm.

California law acknowledges that children can be both victims of abuse themselves, and be harmed by even witnessing abuse against a parent or other caretaker. The California child custody laws create a presumption that a perpetrator of abuse should not have sole or joint custody of children [Family Code 3044]. Unfortunately, sometimes this statute, in particular, is a reason for one spouse or partner to seek a protective order to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute. In these situations, the alleged perpetrator of domestic violence needs an aggressive defense to dispel claims of abuse made against them.

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

Individuals who do not qualify for domestic violence restraining orders may obtain civil harassment restraining orders, to prevent physical violence, serious threats of violence or patterns of harassment that cause severe emotional harm. These orders are more difficult to obtain than those between parties who are relatives or have been in an intimate relationship. An example of a civil harassment matter is a dispute between neighbors.

Dena Kleeman and Ruth Kremen

Dena A. Kleeman and Ruth S. Kremen have the kind of experience that is crucial in the practice of family law.

As a certified family law specialist, Dena A. Kleeman is recognized by the State Bar of California as having the requisite education and experience to represent clients in the specialized field of family law. She received training and certification as a divorce mediator through an approved program of the National Academy of Family Mediators. Ms. Kleeman has practiced family law full-time since her graduation from Stanford Law School in 1983.

Ruth S. Kremen has been practicing full-time family law since 1993. She has a wide background in the practice of civil litigation, including family law litigation. Ms. Kremen graduated from Georgetown University Law School in 1982, clerked for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 1983, and entered private practice in 1984.

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