Enduring the divorce process is daunting in itself. Escaping domestic violence amid divorce proceedings adds a layer of stress and potential complications that can feel impossible to navigate alone.
It’s a difficult time for you and your children. You’re hurting, and it’s challenging to focus your full attention on their needs as you work to secure the safety of your family. Often, survivors might feel too intimidated to seek out legal services at all.
However, a new law passed in California will change the future of domestic violence cases and hopefully serve as an added shield of protection for survivors of spousal abuse. Now, with the help of your divorce attorney, you can request additional security for you and your children.
Calley’s Law: The Tragic Origin
Calley Garay escaped her abusive husband in May of 2020, taking her three young sons in hopes of creating a better life. Calley covered all her bases: she went to the police, visited a women’s shelter, and filed a restraining order against her husband to protect herself and her children.
Unfortunately, at the time, restraining orders didn’t protect the children’s information.
Three months after filing the restraining order, Calley scheduled a doctor’s appointment for her sons. The office, unaware of the restraining order or the domestic violence that occurred, called the number on file they had for the family to confirm the appointment: the number of Calley’s husband.
After learning her location, Calley’s husband arrived at the doctor’s office and shot her, taking her life as she shielded her young children.
In the time following Calley’s tragic death, Senator Ana Caballero, along with Calley’s cousin, Sarah Rodriguez, led the charge on creating and passing SB 24, named “Calley’s Law” in honor of the mother taken too soon.
What This Means for Survivors Seeking a Divorce Lawyer or Family Attorney
Calley Garay’s abuser was able to find her because the restraining order she placed didn’t protect information about her children—a loophole in domestic violence cases and family law that often creates dangerous consequences for survivors.
With SB 24 in place, survivors have an extra layer of protection available. In divorce cases that include a restraining order against an abusive spouse, a judge can choose to withhold medical, schooling, and daycare records of children from the abusive parent.
Such a ruling would protect survivors and their children from potential information breaches that could lead their abusers to their location. Restraining orders have proved helpful in the past, but abusers have often found excuses to violate the terms.
Now, with the implementation of SB 24, violating a restraining order in California is a much more difficult task. Information about the spouse and the survivor’s children is protected by law, shielding the family’s whereabouts from the abuser to prevent further tragedies.
Protect Yourself and Your Children
As you seek out a divorce attorney or family lawyer, know that the safety of you and your children is the priority. Nothing outweighs the importance of protecting your loved ones from further pain and ending the cycle of domestic violence.
At Seabrook Law Offices, we understand how frightening and hopeless it may feel as you set off to leave a domestic violence situation. It is a physically and emotionally taxing experience, especially if you have children. Survivors can feel lonely and afraid to move forward without resources or counsel.
However, SB 24 allows survivors the opportunity to ensure the privacy and protection of their children. Alongside a divorce attorney, you can create a new life and begin again free from the pain of the past.
A Compassionate Family Lawyer Near Me
The dedicated team at Seabrook Law Offices is proud to serve domestic violence survivors in San Jose, California. With years of experience in the family court system, we understand how frustrating and painful it is to go through the legal system with your family.
Our law firm is committed to getting survivors through legal proceedings as quickly and painlessly as possible so that you can move on and reach for that second chance at happiness.
We treat each case with the same care and empathy, but we know that every survivor is different. That’s why our experienced, compassionate divorce attorneys can adapt to your needs and provide the quality legal counsel you require in your time of hardship.
With the passing of SB 24, or Calley’s Law, survivors have an added layer of protection between them and their abusers, and our legal team can provide the services needed to help you ensure further security. Allow us to help you leave that life behind you.
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