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Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of January 11, 2024

I was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in California?

As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,1 California can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order. To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area.  To find a lawyer in your area, go to our Finding a Lawyer page.

You can also register your custody order from a different state in California. To do so, you should send all of the following to the court in your county:

  • a letter requesting registration;
  • two copies, one of which is certified, of your custody judgment, and a sworn statement that to the best of your knowledge, the order has not been modified; and
  • your name and address – although when there has been domestic violence, you don’t have to give your address to the court.2

An out-of-state custody order that is registered in California can be enforced as if the order were issued by a California court.  However, the abuser will be notified of the registration and have the chance to contest it being registered in your new state.2  If you are trying to keep your location confidential from the abuser, registering the order would likely not be a good idea since it will let him know what county in California you are living in.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and it must be consistent with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980; see also Cal.Fam.Code § 3443; 28 U.S.C. § 1738A
2 Cal.Fam.Code § 3445