Pursuing A Protective Order
While domestic violence and other forms of family abuse can represent major factors that affect the rights and responsibilities of divorcing spouses, you do not need to be married to benefit from legal protections if you are in an abusive situation.
At MacDowell Law Group, P.C., our domestic violence attorneys can help you obtain protective orders to help FREE you from domestic abuse.
If you or your children are suffering abuse from a domestic partner, seek legal help as soon as possible. You can schedule a private meeting with us by calling 571-748-5647. Our office is conveniently located in Fairfax.
Are You Eligible For A Protective Order?
Virginia has certain eligibility requirements that must be met before you can pursue a protective order. Although the law is designed to cover legally married and divorced couples, you may still be eligible for a protective order if you:
- Live now at the same residence or lived with the abuser within the last 12 months
- Have a child in common with the abuser
- Have a close blood, step or in-law relationship with the abuser
Our lawyers will review your situation to help determine your eligibility.
What Do Protective Orders Cover?
There are different types of protective orders that are designed to last a certain period of time and cover certain types of behavior. A temporary order may be entered without the abuser being present and can last for up to 15 days. This prevents the abuser from accessing a shared residence, a jointly owned vehicle, contacting the victim and his or her family, and from cutting off utilities to the residence.
Upon notice and a hearing at which the abuser is present, a court may issue a permanent protective order. This order can last for up to 2 years and prevents the abuser from all of the activity noted above, and may also provide for temporary child custody and support, as well as suitable alternative housing for the victim and a counseling requirement for the abuser.
In the event that a protective order is violated by an abuser, it becomes a criminal matter. If the abuser is found guilty of violating a protective order, the abuser may have to serve a jail sentence.
Contact Us Today To Learn Your Options
To learn more about the scope of our experience with domestic violence problems on behalf of unmarried victims and same-sex partners, speak with us. We handle all family law matters discretely and professionally.