Understanding a Temporary Restraining Order in Divorce

By Bonnie Rabinovitch-Mantel, CFLS, Divorce Attorney, Managing Partner, Primus Family Law Group

In times of personal crisis, legal measures like temporary restraining orders in divorce (TROs) can provide much-needed protection and relief. If you’re in San Diego and facing a situation where you believe your safety or the safety of your loved ones is at risk, it’s crucial to understand what a temporary restraining order in divorce is, and how it can help you.

What is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

A Temporary Restraining Order in divorced, often referred to as a TRO, is an emergency legal order issued by a court to protect an individual and possibly related family members from harassment, abuse, or threats. In San Diego, these orders serve as a critical tool in family law cases to provide immediate protection to those in need.


Common Situations for Seeking a TRO

Domestic Violence:

TROs are frequently sought by victims of domestic violence to protect themselves and their children from abusive partners or family members.  It is important to know that Domestic Violence does not just mean physical violence; it can also be emotional, financial, stalking, isolating one from friends and family or other forms of disturbing the peace of a person.

Physical violence:

If you or your children are being physically abused or witnessing physical abuse, the first call should be to law enforcement and you can certainly seek a TRO to protect you and your family member.

Harassment or Stalking: If someone is experiencing harassment, stalking, in person or even via social media from another individual, a TRO can establish a legal boundary to keep the alleged perpetrator away.

How to Obtain a TRO in San Diego

File a Request: To obtain a TRO, you must file a request with the court. San Diego provides resources and forms online to assist you in this process.

Fill Out the Forms: Accurately complete the required forms, providing detailed information about the situation and why you need the TRO. The more specific you are as to the dates and forms of the incidents from which you require protection, the more credible your claims.

Submit the Forms: Submit the completed forms to the San Diego Superior Court. You will need to wait for the Judge to decide whether or not to grant your TRO so be prepared to spend the day at Court.

Once your TRO is granted, you will need to have the restrained person served with the Order.  They must be advised of the restrictions placed on them.  This can and should be accomplished by the Sheriff.  It is a free service.

Court Hearing: Typically, a court hearing will be scheduled within a few weeks. This hearing is critically important as it will decide whether or not a permanent restraining order is granted and for what period of time; a permanent restraining order can be for up to 5 years depending on the egregious nature of the conduct sought to be restrained.

Key Points to Remember about Temporary Restraining order and divorce

Temporary: TROs are temporary orders meant to provide immediate protection. They are usually in effect for a limited period, often until a full court hearing can be held.

Violation is Serious: Violating a TRO is a serious offense and can result in arrest and criminal charges.

Retain an Attorney: It’s highly advisable to retain an experienced family law attorney when seeking a TRO. They can provide guidance, help you complete the necessary paperwork, and represent you in court at that very crucial court hearing.

Bonnie Mantel
Bonnie Mantel, Attorney, Founder and Managing Partner, Primus Law Group


Bonnie Rabinovitch-Mantel, CFLS, is a divorce attorney, and Founder and Managing partner at Primus Family Law Group. Bonnie is a multifaceted dynamo with many talents that make her truly an asset to her clients. She is a passionate and aggressive attorney who has handled many complex matters for her clients.

Bonnie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, where she graduated from McGill University Law School with Honors, Distinction, and two law degrees. Bonnie was published twice in a prominent Canadian Law Journal. Aside from her numerous distinctions, Bonnie has two business degrees, in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, which she also received from McGill University in Montreal. Bonnie’s passion has always been the law since 2006 as an attorney in Family Law. Bonnie is fluent in two languages, but, can speak four. Her depth of experience and educational background makes her uniquely qualified for her work in Family Law and able to handle the most complex of cases.

Bonnie brings a humorous approach to even the toughest situations, and, her clients love her dedication and personal attention. When Bonnie is not at work, she enjoys hiking, working out, and spending time with her family. Bonnie has been married for 19 years and she has three wonderful children who are her pride and joy and the main reasons she brings such passion to her career.

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