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What is going to happen once my husband and I are divorced after he's been charged with brandishing a firearm and domestic abuse

Chesapeake, VA |

My husband has been emotionally and mentally abusive with a few minor incidents of physical violence. I have suffered immensely from the control and the mental and emotional abuse. I weigh 96 lbs because of the control over the food. He does not want to pay any support and I have about $200 to my name. I don't know what I can do to make sure my kids and I will be safe and stable. He also tried to make allegations of child abuse against me, but it was declined for review. What can I do to stop him from trying to completely sabotage my life? PLEASE HELP!

Attorney Answers 1


If you want your husband (now or after the divorce) to stay away from your and/or your children and if you want to prevent him from making more allegations against you, then you may want a protective order. Violating a protective order is a criminal offense punishable with up to 12 months in jail. They can prevent false allegations because they forbid contact. If you get a protective order, your husband cannot see or talk to you so he will be extremely limited in his ability to accuse of stuff if he is forbidden from contacting you. There are 3 types of protective orders in Virginia.

Emergency Protective Order [Virginia Code Section § 16.1-253.4]
An emergency protective order outlaws an abusive person from contacting you. This is usually in cases of domestic violence. Victims of such crimes can obtain an EPO from a police officer responding to the scene of a Domestic assault or the victim can visit their local Juvenile and Domestic Relations courthouse to acquire the order from a magistrate. These orders last for 72 hours.

Preliminary Protective Order [Virginia Code Section § 16.1-253.1]
A preliminary protection order also forbids an abusive person from contacting you. Unlike the EPO, a preliminary restraining order can only be sworn out in your local Juvenile and Domestic Relations courthouse. These orders last for 15 days.

Permanent Protective Order [Virginia Code Section § 16.1-279.1]
These orders last for up to two years, depending upon the situation and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations magistrate's decision. You can best increase your chances of getting a permanent protective order by offering specific details (and if available, witnesses and/or photographs) of all abusive and threatening situations related to the person from whom you wish no further contact. [often this type of protective orders are issued by judges as a condition of bond when an abuser is bailed out of jail]

I would contact a civil family relations attorney and ask them about getting a Permanent Protective Order.

Luke J. Nichols
Spectrum Legal Defense
(703) 383-9222

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