Protective Orders / Visitation Orders

What to Do if You Need Assistance Related to Domestic Violence & Protective Orders

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can make a police report and request that the police department issue an Emergency Protective Order. This will give you protection while you are obtaining a restraining order and/or a custody order. You can also contact Napa Emergency Woman Services (NEWS) at 707-255-6397 for assistance in obtaining a Restraining Order and/or temporary custody. NEWS may also be able to provide a place to stay if you are afraid to return home, as well as an escort in court.

Non-Compliance With Visitation Orders

If a visitation order is being violated, you may bring a civil contempt action in Family Court. This is done by filing an Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt at the Family Law Courts. You will be required to go to court and present your case to the Judge.

If another person takes, entices away, keeps, withholds, or conceals a child and maliciously deprives you of your right to visitation, you may file a report with the local police. The police will forward a copy of their report to the District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit. You will need to provide a copy of your court orders to the police officer.

For further Assistance, contact the Child Abduction Unit in your County. The number for Napa County is 707-253-4356.

Tips Related to Custody & Visitation Orders

  1. Make sure your Court Orders include a detailed schedule of visitation dates and times. Orders for “reasonable” visitation and verbal agreements are vague and hard to enforce. Keep good records, including a written diary or calendar of all contacts made concerning visitation.
  2. Keep an updated file with information identifying your child and the other parent. Include birth certificates, recent photos, fingerprints and any other information that would aid in identifying your child in case of an abduction.
  3. The custody orders should state that the child may not be removed from the city, county, country (or whatever area is appropriate) without the written consent of the other parent or the court.
  4. Teach your child to use the telephone. Without frightening your child or alienating your child from the other parent, tell your child to call home immediately if something unusual is happening. Make sure that your child understands that you will always love them and want to share your life with them.
  5. Furnish a copy of your custody and visitation orders and particularly any restraining orders to the school, to the day care center, and to the babysitter.
  6. If an abduction is threatened, notify the police department and/or the Child Abduction Unit. The number for Napa County's unit is 707-253-4356.