Going through separation and divorce is not always simple. In some cases, people may need protection from an abusive spouse or partner.
If this is you and you have children, you might not be the only one who needs protection. Here’s what you need to know about orders for protection in Virginia and how they apply to your children.
How can a protective order help me?
Protective orders can help you keep your distance from an abusive relationship. There are a few types of protective orders in Virginia, including:
- Emergency. Issued by a judge or magistrate for up to 72 hours even there has not been an arrest.
- Preliminary. Only a judge can issue a preliminary protective order. The order lasts 15 days or until the final hearing for the protective order.
- Permanent. Issued by a judge at a protective order hearing. The maximum term is two years. You can ask to have it extended.
Protective orders can prohibit an abuser from coming near your place of work and home and from contacting you or other members of your household.
Protecting your children
When both you and the other members of your household (including your children) need protection, a protective order may be able to give you the support you need. It will be essential to mention the dangers you are facing when you petition for a protective order, so the court knows the details needed to keep you and your family safe. In addition to restricting contact, the court can award you possession of a family pet and can order the continuation of utilities.
Keep in mind, if you eventually file for divorce, the protective order can be considered by the court when deciding custody of the children. While you are trying to maintain distance from an abusive spouse or partner, a protective order can help protect you and the other people in your household.