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Filing a Restraining Order for Your Child: What You Need to Know

As a parent, ensuring the safety and well-being of your child is your utmost priority. There may be instances where you find it necessary to seek legal protection on behalf of your child through a restraining order. Understanding the process and your options is crucial in such situations. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps and considerations involved in filing a restraining order for your child.

Can a Restraining Order be Filed for a Child?

Yes, a restraining order can indeed be filed for a child, offering a layer of protection against potential threats, harassment, or harm. It’s important to know that there are different approaches depending on your specific circumstances.

Including Your Child in Your Own Restraining Order

If you’re already seeking a restraining order for yourself, it’s possible to include your child in the same order. This method is straightforward, especially if your child resides with you. However, complications may arise in cases involving shared custody or unique situations.

Filing a Restraining Order Specifically for Your Child

Alternatively, you can file a restraining order exclusively on behalf of your child. In this scenario, a legal representative known as a guardian ad litem, appointed by the court, will advocate for your child’s best interests. This is particularly common for children under the age of 12, as they may lack the capacity to represent themselves effectively.
For children aged 12 and older, they have the option to advocate for themselves in obtaining a restraining order. They can choose to file independently or with the assistance of a parent. While parental support is permissible, it’s important to note that parents cannot directly engage as parties in the case.

Navigating the Process for Younger Children

When your child is under 12 years old, you, as a parent, can initiate the process by filing a restraining order on their behalf. However, due to the child’s limited capacity, involving a guardian ad litem is typically necessary. This legal representative will ensure that your child’s interests are properly represented throughout the proceedings.

Empowering Older Children

Children aged 12 or older hold the capacity to handle the restraining order process themselves. They can either choose to file independently or with the guidance of a parent. This age group has the autonomy to represent themselves, making decisions regarding their safety and well-being.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Understanding the legal intricacies of filing a restraining order for a child can be complex. Ensuring the safety of your child is non-negotiable. Whether you’re including your child in your own restraining order or filing on their behalf, exploring the best options for their protection is paramount. By understanding the avenues available and enlisting the right legal resources, you can take the necessary steps to secure a safer environment for your child.

If you find yourself in need of guidance for your child’s restraining order, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. The Nieves Law Firm has experience filing restraining orders on behalf of those under the age of 18, and we would be happy to help you protect your child and their interests.

Contact The Nieves Law Firm today if you need assistance filing a restraining order on behalf of your child in the Bay Area. Schedule a complimentary consultation with someone on our team to learn more about your options.

Author Bio

Jo-Anna Nieves is the Founder and Managing Attorney of the Nieves Law Firm, an Oakland criminal defense law firm she created in 2013. With more than 11 years of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, domestic violence, expungement, federal crimes, juvenile law, sex crimes, violent crimes, and other criminal charges.

Jo-Anna received her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2019, and the #12 Fastest Growing Law Firm in the U.S. by Law Firm 500 in 2019.

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