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California bill would change protective orders for children

Domestic violence cases can have a significant impact on child custody and visitation rights in California. In many domestic violence cases that result in criminal charges, the court often orders a protective order for the victim. However, a loophole in the state's law does not include children to be included in these protective orders. Instead, family members have to request a separate protective order for minor children, which can be time-consuming and put the child at risk until the protective order is issued.

A recently proposed bill addresses the loophole and has been passed by the California State Senate. What exactly would the bill change? To summarize, it would close the loophole by allowing minor children to be included in protective orders issued by the court to protect spouses and children from domestic abuse. The bill would allow children to be included on protective orders to keep domestic abusers from harming them during trial or after they get out of prison. 

Protective orders issued by courts during criminal proceedings can last up to 10 years after a conviction. If the bill is passed, children can be included and protected under these orders in addition to spouses. Supporters of the bill say that the current loophole puts the most vulnerable people at risk and that children have the same right to be protected from domestic violence. 

If the bill passes and is signed into law, it could have a big impact on domestic violence cases and protective orders being issued by the court. It could also impact many family law cases, including child custody and visitation agreements if one of the parents is convicted of domestic abuse. 

Source: SCV News, "Child-Protection Bill Moves on to Assembly," May 3, 2014

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