What May Be Included in Your Virginia Protective Order

Protective Order Button on a KeyboardYou need help. You need protection from someone who is likely to hurt you or your child, and, therefore, you are considering going to court to seek a protective order.

Whether you are seeking a protective order against a family member, a friend, or a stranger, you need to know what kind of protection you may get once a Virginia court approves the order.

General Protective Orders

There are three types of general protective orders that you may seek from a Virginia court. You may petition the court for an emergency protective order, a preliminary protective order, or a full protective order. The procedures for obtaining these protective orders and the time that they are in effect vary. However, the potential protection they provide is the same.

If you seek an emergency protective order, a preliminary protective order, or a full protective order, the court’s order may:

  • Prohibit the person against whom you are seeking the protective order from committing acts of violence, force, or threat or any criminal offenses that may result in injury to a person or property.
     
  • Prohibit the person against whom you are seeking the protective order from contacting you, your family, or your household members if this is necessary to keep you healthy or safe.
     
  • Include any other relief necessary to prevent acts of violence, force, or threat, criminal offenses that could result in injury to a person or property, or communication or contact of any kind by the person against whom you are seeking the protective order.
     
  • Grant you the possession of a companion animal.

You can work with your attorney to determine what to request in your protective order that would provide you with the safety that you need for yourself and your family.

Domestic Protective Orders

If the person against whom you are seeking the protective order is a relative or member of your household, then you may seek a family abuse or domestic protective order from a Virginia juvenile and domestic relations district court. Depending on the circumstances, you can seek an emergency protective order, a preliminary protective order, or a permanent protective order.

A domestic emergency protective order may grant the same type of protection as a general emergency protective order.

If you are seeking a domestic preliminary protective order for your child, then the court may protect your child by requiring the person against whom the protective order is sought:

  • To abstain from offensive conduct against your child, relatives and household members of the child, and anyone who has custody of the child
     
  • To cooperate in providing reasonable services or programs designed to protect the child’s life, health, or normal development
     
  • To allow people identified by the court to come into the child’s home at reasonable times designated by the court to visit the child, inspect the fitness of the home, and determine the physical and emotional health of the child
     
  • To allow the child to visit with people who have a right to visit the child, as determined by the court
     
  • To refrain from acts of commission or omission that may endanger the child’s life, health, or normal development
     
  • To refrain from contact with the child, the child’s family, and the child’s household members, as deemed appropriate by the court. This may include removing a person from the child’s home. However, before that can happen, you must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that such person’s probable future conduct would endanger the life or health of the child, and there are no less drastic alternatives that could reasonably and adequately protect the child’s life or health pending a determination on a full protective order petition.

Additionally, the court may grant the child possession of a companion animal.

If you are seeking a domestic preliminary protective order to protect yourself, then the court may impose the following conditions:

  • Prohibiting the person against whom you seek the protective order from acts of family abuse or criminal offenses that result in injury to person or property.
     
  • Prohibiting the person against whom you seek the protection order from contacting you, your family, or your household members as the court deems necessary for the health and safety of such persons.
     
  • Granting you possession of the home and excluding the person against whom you seek the protective order.
     
  • Preventing the person against whom you seek the protective order from terminating any necessary utility service from the premises you possess.
     
  • Granting you, and if appropriate other family or household members, exclusive use and possession of a cell phone number or electronic device. The court may stop the person against whom you seek the protective order from terminating a cell phone or electronic device contract before the end of the contract period. The court may also order the person against whom you seek the protective order not to use a cell phone or other electronic device to locate you.
     
  • Granting you temporary possession or use of a motor vehicle owned by you alone or owned jointly with the person against whom you seek the protective order.
     
  • Requiring the person against whom you seek the protective order to provide suitable alternative housing for you and any other relative or household member and, if appropriate, to pay deposits to connect utility services.
     
  • Granting you a companion animal.
     
  • Granting any other relief necessary for the protection of you, your family, or your household members.

If you seek a permanent protective order in a Virginia domestic case, then the court may grant all of the relief that it could include in a preliminary protective order. Additionally, in a permanent protective order, the court may order the person against whom you seek the protective order to participate in treatment, counseling, or other programs.

Get the Protection You Deserve With the Help of a Virginia Protective Order Lawyer

Your safety, or the safety of your child, is at stake. Don’t take any unnecessary chances. Instead, contact an experienced Fairfax protective order attorney to help you get the protection that you need. Call us anytime, or contact us through this website, to learn more.