Obtaining Virginia Protective Orders
Protective orders, also known as retraining orders, protect people from violence, threat or bodily injury. They also keep people from places where they feel as though they might die, be sexually assaulted or incur bodily injury. A Virginia attorney can help you file for protective orders.
Virginia law seeks to protect victims of domestic violence and other threatening situations. The process to obtain a protective order is not terribly complicated, but it’s in your best interest to find a lawyer who can ensure your long-term protection and wellbeing.
Types of protective orders
Virginia has three types of protective orders to help you ensure the health and wellbeing of you and your family:
- Emergency protective order – valid for three days following issue or when the court is next in session, whichever is later. This order will be dated accordingly. If you need more time than what is provided by the emergency protective order, you should seek a preliminary protective order.
- Preliminary protective order – valid for 15 days or until you receive a full hearing on the matter. To receive this order, you’ll fill out court forms. The Court Services Unit handles juvenile and domestic relations forms. Other matters are filed in the general district court clerk’s office in which you might be asked to answer a judge’s questions to receive the order. The process generally takes approximately two hours.
- Protective order – valid for up to two years from issuance. The protective order should make the timeframe and any additional details clear.
A protective order can protect you from an abuser. It can even order that individual to leave your home, even if it’s in both of your names. Another benefit of a protective order is that it can provide full custody of your children to you and ensure your abuser pays child support.
The process of obtaining protective orders in Virginia
Once you’ve filed the necessary paperwork, you and the person you’re requesting the protective order from will appear in court for a hearing. Should you choose not to attend this hearing, any emergency or preliminary orders you have in place will expire on the date shown without extension. If the person you’re requesting the order against does not show, you can still ask the court for the protective order.
The next step in receiving your protective order is for the individual to be “personally served.” This means that a court official or law enforcement officer will personally deliver the protective order to the individual. It’s important that when you complete your paperwork you ensure that there is an accurate phone number and address listed.
If you’re unsure of the status of your protective order, you can call law enforcement. Once your protective order is in place, if the person violates it, you should call the police. That person can be arrested and face criminal charges for violation.
A “no contact” provision states that the other person cannot contact you in any way, either directly or indirectly. If you know that you will need to contact the individual during the course of the protective order, tell the judge at your hearing.
Should you leave Virginia, other states should honor your protective order. Contact the courts in the state you move to or are visiting for further information. Additionally, if you need to make changes to the protective order, you can do so by going through the court system.
Finding a Virginia attorney for protective orders
An attorney can file for a protective order on your behalf. This can help make the emotional process easier. A family law attorney can represent you during the hearing to ensure you get the protective order you’re filing for.
Additionally, the attorney will help gather information to prove your case. Your attorney will prepare the necessary paperwork to ensure it is completely accurate. Being denied a protective order can mean daily stress and even injury, so you don’t want to risk being denied.
At Gore and Kuperman, we ensure the protection of clients through filing for protective orders. This could be due to an impending divorce or criminal charges, such as physical abuse. We’ll walk you through the process and remove some of the stress of the process from you.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your needs. Additionally, we will give your case immediate attention to ensure your protective order is not delayed. Give us a call at 703-385-7300 to discuss your needs with an attorney.