If your Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is set to expire, you may be wondering what to do next. Do you want to renew your DVRO? Are you within the proper timeline to renew your DVRO? How much work is required to renew your DVRO? This short blog answers those questions.

If you applied to the court for a DVRO and received one, your order notes the expiration date. There is no requirement that you renew your DVRO, but it is an option available to you.

You can renew your DVRO anytime in the 3 months before it expires. If you wait until after it expires, you will have to go through the entire process again. Renewing a DVRO is easier than applying for the original DVRO, so it is worth it to apply for renewal instead of letting it lapse if you are concerned about continuing abuse.

The standard for renewing an existing DVRO may be lower than you think. A trial court may renew an existing DVRO “upon the request of a party, either for five years or permanently, without a showing of any further abuse since the issuance of the original order.” (Fam. Code §6345(a).) A trial court should renew an existing DVRO if it finds that “the protected party entertains a ‘reasonable apprehension’ of future abuse.” (Ritchie v. Konrad (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 1275.) In determining whether you have a “reasonable apprehension of future abuse,” the trial court should consider the facts that led to the initial DVRO, and the mere existence of your DVRO should be enough to satisfy this standard. If the person against whom you received a DVRO has violated its terms, that is further reason for the court to grant your renewal.

The legislature passed the Domestic Violence Prevention Act to ensure not only your physical safety but protect your peace of mind. If your DVRO is expiring, and you are anxious about potential future abuse, don’t be shy to ask for a renewal. That is what it’s there for.

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