Domestic Violence

San Mateo Domestic Violence Lawyers

Our top priority is to ensure our client’s safety. Sometimes, a restraining order is not only necessary to ensure your safety, or your child’s safety, but it can be beneficial for the long-term health of the entire family. Typically, once a restraining order is issued, the parties are separated, the protected parties are safe, and sometimes even just a temporary break from each other is enough to take the entire family household out of a crisis situation. And at the end, when the temporary restraining order expires, you can regroup and decide how you wish to proceed.

Caitlin Ashton

Ask a domestic violence lawyer what constitutes domestic violence and their answer may surprise you.
In California, where 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced domestic violence, just a third will report their experience. A misconception of what constitutes domestic violence is partly to blame. Many are unaware that in California, it is a crime to cause or threaten to cause harm to a current or former intimate partner through battery, abuse or neglect. Verbal intimidation and verbal harassment count. Controlling what that partner does or what they spend counts. Pressuring a woman to become pregnant counts.

Many simply don’t know that a domestic violence lawyer can help them regain control of their lives.

Laughlin Legal takes domestic violence accusations very seriously. 
Our clients’ mental health and safety are our main priority. If you are suffering abuse from a spouse or partner, one of our domestic violence lawyers can help to protect you from further abuse by seeking a restraining order. We will then be with you every step of the way forward, making ourselves available 24/7 to answer questions and provide support over the course of your divorce.

Your spouse may be forced to move out of the family home if you obtain a restraining order, thus protecting you and your children while you seek a dissolution of your marriage. A restraining order can also bar your spouse from any custody rights, further protecting your kids.

The first step is talking about it.
No one should ever endure abuse, especially in a marriage. At Laughlin Legal, our experienced domestic violence lawyers are skilled at navigating great outcomes for our clients whether in person or via zoom. Online Dispute Resolution or ODR is more sophisticated and more popular than ever. And it’s particularly helpful in cases involving domestic violence. Let’s talk about your case and ODR. We hope to hear from you. 

Have you been falsely accused of abuse?
On occasion, people will falsely accuse their spouse of domestic violence in an attempt to influence the outcome of their divorce. Being convicted of domestic violence may prevent you from gaining custody of your children or being eligible for spousal support.

Our domestic violence lawyers will defend you if your spouse is trying to invalidate your rights in a divorce through abuse accusations. Everyone at the firm works as a team with our clients to offer sound legal support.


To cause or threaten to cause harm to a current or former intimate partner through battery, abuse, coercive control, or neglect.

Physical, sexual, economic, emotional, psychological, cultural/identity, sexual and other coercion and reproductive control

Issued to protect someone, their children, their property, or their pets. Abuse can be emotional or physical. It can happen anywhere, including online. Can include various types of orders: no contact; stay a certain distance away; move out of the home that’s shared with the protected person; not have guns, firearms or ammunition; and others.

An order for payments to a spouse before your case is final. A judge can make a spousal support order in a divorce, legal separation, or domestic violence restraining order case. You can ask for a temporary support order as soon as you file the case.

Support orders made at the end of the case. These are also called permanent support orders.

Case Story

A Domestic Violence Client In Their Own Words

“My son, who was 10, called that his father was drunk at a bar, and he was afraid he was going to drive. Later that night, he also told me that his father was physically abusive with him. So now I needed a domestic violence lawyer in addition to a child custody lawyer, and by luck I had already made the connection with Amy. I remember calling her. I was in survival mode for my child, in crisis, completely panicked, and she gave me advice right there on the phone, you have to call the police. She was in real time. It was a Friday night, I felt like I could call her and she was there.

That started a custody case and a domestic violence restraining order. Your attorney can lead you into all types of dark corners, and I felt like Amy and I were aligned, wanted the best outcome. She would fight for me, but would not bring more litigation than was needed. And always respectful, never an unethical bulldog, never a pushover or softie. I didn’t have to sacrifice personal ethics or values. That can be hard to find. I don’t often get the feeling attorneys care about fairness.

Amy was really good at managing expectations. Felt like a real partnership. Prior to a hearing, we’d get on the phone and strategize. I never wondered, What is my attorney doing? And Amy is not afraid to go to trial. Some lawyers just want to settle, they’re nervous, can’t take that high pressure. Not Amy. And she’s really really good no matter the pressure. But she’s not going to push you to go to court. And she’s SO good with the judge. I just knew she was going to kill it in court. And she did.

This firm will get as good a result as you can possibly get. They invest the time with you. This is not a transactional, high volume firm. And they have this balance of really high integrity and really high advocacy. I’m so thankful I had someone who was with me trying to figure out what’s best for my kid, and it goes way beyond the legal. Amy just gets things.

10 out of 10. Totally surpassed my expectations though I had never met anyone with as bad a case as I had. This firm is absolutely life-changing when it comes to the safety and welfare of my child, some of the best child custody lawyers. Without Amy, my son might not be safe and healthy today.”


Next Step

Book a consultation with a lawyer you can trust.

How can we help?

If you’re looking for an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, let’s talk. Call us at 650.343.3486 or email us here.

Let’s get started.

The FOREFRONT A divorce & family law blog

Think About It: Is It Really So Strange To Have A Transactional Real Estate Lawyer At A Family Law Firm? We find it

You’re in luck because you’re in California, a community property state. And that makes the division of assets simple in that everything acquired

Amy Laughlin, a divorce and child custody lawyer in San Mateo, knows better than most what’s at stake for the children of divorcing parents.