How will a restraining/protective order affect custody and visitation?


Domestic violence is taken seriously under Virginia law. There are three levels of protection (emergency, preliminary and permanent) that fall under a Family Abuse Protective Order. Family abuse can be any action that is violent, forceful or threatening (including forced detention) and results in bodily injury or puts the person in fear of bodily injury. A protective order may be issued for up to two years from the date of the hearing.

Having a protective order issued may significantly affect both visitation and custody decisions by the court in determining who has legal and physical custody, and visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.