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The Far-reaching Effects of Domestic Violence in Virginia

          Entry of a protective order for domestic abuse can have far reaching implications for the perpetrators, their victims, their children, and even others in the community. Most people understand that an emergency protective order can be issued at the request of an alleged victim for up to 72 hours, and that if the alleged victim wants these protections extended, he or she must apply for a preliminary protective order, which will last until a hearing is held and a protective order is either issued or denied. What many people do not understand is that entry of a protective order may affect the alleged perpetrator’s career path, custody of his or her children, and even the contractual rights and obligations of third parties.

         Upon entry of a protective order, the court has the authority to award possession of the apartment or home, possession of a companion animal, award child support, to prohibit the perpetrator from terminating utilities from the residence, and of course, may restrict or prohibit contact with the victim. The Court may also require the perpetrator to provide alternate housing for the victim. A victim may also choose to be relieved of his or her obligations under a housing lease, without responsibility for liquidated damages. Similarly, the court has the authority to award use of a vehicle owned by the victim or jointly owned by the parties and to order the perpetrator not to terminate vehicle insurance, vehicle registration, or vehicle taxes. The court also has the authority to award possession of a companion animal to its owner. Entry of a protective order will also result in a prohibition against the perpetrator possessing weapons.

         Entry of a protective order can affect the career of some individuals. For example, a prohibition on possession of weapons – will likely be detrimental to a career in law enforcement or the military. Many health care providers will not employ persons who have a protective order issued against them. Entry of a protective order can affect a security clearance, which can also affect the employment of some people. Moreover, the Court is required to consider whether there has been domestic abuse between the parties when weighing the statutory factors required in a custody determination, and domectic violence may be considered by child protective services when determining it or what action to take.Domestic violence can have far reaching legal implications. If you find yourself in a domectic violence situation, seek help! Call on The Law Office of Lori A. Michaud, P.C.


An outstanding job on my case to have custody, visitation and support decided in my home state instead of Virginia after I separated from military service.- A.E.