In Virginia, it’s normal to issue a protective order if domestic violence may have occurred between two people. These situations are complex, so if you face a protective order, you do need to know what to expect.
There are three types of protective orders. These include:
- A protective order that lasts for up two years
- An emergency protective order, which is usually valid only for a few days
- A preliminary protective order, which lasts around 15 days or until you have a hearing to address it
It’s typical for protective orders to be requested when a domestic dispute occurs, whether it’s just verbal or it turns physical. Sometimes, allegations against a person are made when they should not have been, and in those cases, those facing the allegations deserve an opportunity to fight back.
Accused of domestic violence? It could affect custody
It is possible that you could have your custody rights affected if you’re accused of domestic violence. A judge has to look at the case and figure out if your child could be in danger with you or the other parent.
A judge is bound to do what is in a child’s best interests. So, if the judge believes that they are at risk at the moment, they may decide to limit your time with your child, order supervised visitation or take other steps to protect them.
A judge does have to consider if the alleged domestic violence involved the child or not. For instance, if the child was not home at the time of an alleged altercation, the judge may not change the custody order at that time. The judge will also consider physical evidence, pending criminal charges and other factors before deciding how to handle custody.
You have a right to protect yourself after an accusation of domestic violence
It’s unfortunately true that people are wrongfully accused of domestic violence often. In other cases, the situation is complex and needs to be defused to really understand what’s happening in the relationship. If you’re facing accusations, know that you have the right to dispute them. You can fight to keep custody of your children and to clear your name.