What Is A Protective Order?
The term protective order, in the context of family law matters, refers to an order obtained to prevent domestic violence or abuse. In Virginia, protective orders are initially temporary in nature and can be issued on an emergency ex-parte basis. Following a brief period of limitation, a court will be required to review the order, and the circumstances under which it was issued, to determine whether it should remain in place. After this hearing, a more formal hearing will be held to determine whether a permanent order should be entered.
The maximum duration for a protective order in Virginia is two years. However, upon the expiration of a protective order, a petitioner may re-petition the court to renew an existing order.
Should You Obtain A Restraining Order?
Every situation and family is different. As a result, the decision to take the additional step of obtaining a restraining order can be difficult. If you are seeking to protect yourself or your family from an abusive parent or spouse, you may need assistance in obtaining a protective order and modifying an existing child custody or visitation agreement.
What Should You Do if You Are Wrongly Served With A Petition For A Protective Order?
The existence of a protective order can have a negative impact on child custody and visitation agreements. In addition, it can have potentially serious repercussions on your freedom and personal wellbeing. In the event that a protective order is violated, jail time is mandatory for the offending party. In addition, repeated offenses can carry mandatory sentences ranging from 60 days to 6 months. As a result, if you have been wrongfully served with a petition for a protective order, it is imperative that you retain counsel to protect your rights before an order goes into effect.