I've tried researching online, but can't seem to figure out my best options, and am financially unable to consult a lawyer. My situation is:
1. I live in California.
2. My ex-spouse, who has psychological issues, is harassing me, mostly through email/phone, but occasional in-person visits. There hasn't been any physical violence, or threats.
3. The ex is not only harassing me, but sends erratic, false and inflammatory messages about me to my family, friends and co-workers. This is the worst part.
4. I have clearly asked for communication to cease, but it does not.
I'm confused by an apparent Catch-22 when it comes to Restraining Orders in CA. If you have a "close relationship" like spouse or ex-spouse, it seems like you're supposed to try filing a "Domestic Violence Restraining Order." But what if there is no physical violence, just harassment or threats to job and reputation from the messages my spouse sends to third parties?
A "Civil Harassment Restraining Order" seems to fit my situation better, but seems to be specifically for people with a more distant relationship.
What are my options? I just want them to leave me and my family/associates alone.
You should file a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO). Domestic violence is not just physical.
You need to hire a licensed California Family Law Attorney to represent you and help you out to file a Family Law Request For Domestic Violence Restraining Order, assuming that you have evidence that meets and eclipses the applicable burden of proof.
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