Spousal abuse does not necessarily start with physical violence or threats of harm, but a person has options to reduce that risk when their safety is on the line in California. 

But not all protective orders share the same properties. Womenslaw.org details three types of domestic violence restraining orders: 

Temporary (ex parte) restraining orders

This type of order happens when someone feels he or she is in immediate danger. As long as there is reasonable proof, the courts can order one and schedule a hearing. Protection comes right away but lasts around three weeks to secure time enough between the filing and full hearing. 

Emergency protective orders

These orders occur when law enforcement feels it is in someone’s best interest. They call a judge to issue these if there is an immediate and present danger to a person or child. These last only five business days to give the party enough time to arrange for a temporary (ex parte) order or the full hearing for a more permanent one. 

Restraining order after hearing

The previous two orders help lead to this one. Once a judge sees to a full hearing about the abuse allegations, a longer order containing a specific term and the various protective requirements can help keep a victim safe from an abuser for as long as necessary. Without an expiration date, most protective orders last for three years with the option for renewal. 

Requirements in protective orders

As the California Courts detail, any of these protective orders can include protections against contacting, stalking, threatening or assaulting. Other requirements may include stay-away orders that keep the restrained person a certain distance away. In the case of domestic violence or elder/dependent adult abuse situations, some may stipulate residence exclusion orders.