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Legal Services

  • Divorce/Spousal Support
  • Child Custody/Support
  • Domestic Violence/Restraining Orders
  • Premarital and post-marital contracts
  • Child Protective Services/Dependency
  • Guardianship
  • Adoptions
  • Paternity
  • Mediation
  • Integrated Mediation
  • Grandparent rights
  • Emancipation


Domestic violence is abuse that one person commits against another person who is a spouse or former spouse, a cohabitant or former cohabitant, a co-parent of their children, a current or former dating partner or fiancé. 

“Abuse” means:

  • intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury;
  • sexual assault;
  • placing a person in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm to that person or to another;
  • engaging in other threatening behavior such as stalking, harassing, destroying personal property, and disturbing the peace of a person or someone in that person’s family or household.


Domestic violence has no bounds – it affects all socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic groups.  Whether a person is young or old, married or single, professional or unemployed, domestic violence can traumatize victims and destroy families.



  •  Every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted or beaten.[1]
  •  Three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day in America, on average.[2]
  •  Domestic violence occurs in 60% of marriages and is the most underreported crime.[3]
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.[4]
  •  Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.[5]
  • 25% to 30% of adolescent relationships are abusive.[6]



  • Approximately 40% of California women experience physical intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.[7]
  • There were 113 domestic violence fatalities in 2008.[8]
  •  Marin County: Family violence is Marin county’s most reported crime of violence.[9]
  • Sonoma County:  Domestic violence cases represent the single largest source of arrestees booked in the county jail – comprising 74% of all misdemeanors and 54% of all felony bookings.[10]
  • Contra Costa County: Every 10 minutes another child in Contra Costa County sees or hears domestic violence.[11]



[1] Family Prevention Fund

[2] Bureau of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Homicide Trends

[3] National Crime Statistics Report

[4] U.S. Department of Justice

[5] First Comprehensive National Health Study of American Women, The Commonwealth Fund)]

[6] L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women

[7] California Women‘s Health Survey

[8] California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center

[9] Marin County Office of the District Attorney

[10] Family Justice Center Sonoma County

[11]Families Thrive



Of those experiencing physical intimate partner violence, 75% of victims had children under the age of:
  • 18 years at home.[1]
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. 90% of battered women reported that their children were present when they were beaten.[2]
  •  A 2005 study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.[3]



You have the right to be safe.

You have the right to ask for a protective order.

You have the right to confidentiality.

You have the right to file a police report.

You have the right to leave the relationship if you choose.

You have the right to information about your case.

You have the right to be notified when your offender is released.

You have the right to have an advocate.


Source: Families Thrive




If you are the victim of domestic violence, you have a right to be free from your abuser.   To that end, you have a right to request both a temporary restraining order and a restraining order after hearing in civil court.  Even if there is a concurrent criminal case involving your abuser, it is important that you protect yourself and your family members through the civil courts, as criminal actions are frequently dismissed and with this dismissal, so are any criminal protective orders.


Restraining orders can protect you, your children, and other family and household members from being victims of abuse. 



Our attorneys work side-by-side with you from the moment you consider filing for a temporary restraining order, all the way to the resolution of the dispute, which can include a full trial if necessary. We are experienced trial attorneys and will support your case with expert witnesses, if necessary, law enforcement, and supporting witnesses called on your behalf.



Domestic violence cases can be stressful and it is important that you have sufficient support both throughout and after your case.  To that end, we connect you with supportive, community-based resources such as domestic violence support groups, counseling, housing support, and child support, where necessary.



It is possible to be awarded attorney’s fees after your hearing.  Contact our offices to obtain information about a fees award.  California law allows the court to award reasonably necessary attorney’s fees in a family law proceeding where there is a disparity in access to funds to retain counsel and where one party is able to pay for legal representation of both parties.   When the proceeding involves a domestic violence restraining order hearing, and when the petitioner is the prevailing party and cannot afford to pay for the attorney's fees and costs, the court shall order that the respondent pay petitioner's attorney's fees and costs for commencing and maintaining the proceeding (if appropriate based on the parties’ respective abilities to pay).

[1] California Women‘s Health Survey

[2] National Crime Statistics Report

[3] Safe Horizon