In Virginia, protective orders can be obtained against family or household members by filing a petition in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. In order for the Court to enter a protective order, the petitioner must prove certain things:
- Family abuse; and
- Ongoing need to protect the petitioner
Assuming there is good cause for the protective order, the court can enter the order for two (2) years. Upon entering the order, the Court can grant several points of relief:
- That the defendant have no contact with the petitioner;
- Grant the petitioner sole passion of the residence (but this doesn’t affect title of the home);
- Prohibit the defendant from cutting of utilities to the residence;
- Grant the petitioner sole possession of the vehicle they own jointly or by the petitioner (but this does not affect title of the car);
- Require the defendant to provide the petitioner suitable alternative housing;
- Require the defendant to undergo treatment or counseling;
- (In some rare instances) Grant the petitioner temporary child custody and support.
While seemingly straight forward, protective orders can prove to be complex matters. They can often result in court proceedings that impose rules of evidence and other formalities that (if ignored or overlooked) can lead to unintended and unexpected outcomes.
James Abrenio has extensive experience working with protective order cases. Should you find yourself in position to need assistance, give BenGlassLaw a call at (703)584-7277.