After Domestic Violence Allegations In Virginia, Contact A Local Attorney
Domestic violence can upend a marriage or domestic partnership. The charge of domestic violence and battery can often fall under different labels, and these matters are often related to criminal allegations. Domestic violence allegations or convictions can also have serious implications when it comes to divorce and child custody issues.
At Randall & Bruch, PC, our qualified and experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate domestic violence issues and divorce, child custody and support and more. Let our Virginia domestic violence attorneys help you with your case today.
Some Questions And Answers About Domestic Violence
Our attorneys in the Southampton, Emporia, Brunswick and Suffolk areas are here to help you and answer your questions such as the following.
Is domestic violence grounds for divorce in Virginia?
Under Virginia law, divorce from the bond of matrimony could be granted through a “no-fault” divorce or a “fault” divorce. There are various reasons why a divorce may be granted on the grounds of the fault of one spouse. One of the fault grounds of divorce is stated in Virginia Code § 20-91(6):
- Where either party has been guilty of cruelty, caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willfully deserted or abandoned the other, such divorce may be decreed to the innocent party after a period of one year from the date of such act…
Domestic violence is not defined specifically in the laws of Virginia, which gives law enforcement officials latitude and a “you know it when you see it” type of approach. However, the language of the divorce code above clearly indicates that violence within marriage is reasonable grounds for a fault-based divorce.
Can domestic violence affect child custody in Virginia?
A history of physical or emotional abuse does often alter the outcome of child custody cases. This can also lead to a modification of a previous child custody order in Virginia.
In families where there is a history of domestic violence, the abusive person may have significant limits placed on their physical custody, legal custody or visitation rights with their child. In some instances, an abusive parent may lose their parental rights altogether.
Can you get a protective order?
It certainly is possible for a victim of domestic violence in Virginia to receive a protective order. In Virginia, a protective order can help ensure that you and your family members are safe from a perpetrator of domestic violence.
There are various types of protective orders that can be issued in Virginia, including emergency protective orders that could be obtained at any time of day. There could also be preliminary protective orders put in place to protect someone while awaiting a court date, as well as full protective orders the court may issue to protect the health and safety of the petitioner and their family.
Family Members Included In A Domestic Violence Case
Virginia law distinguishes between typical assault and battery charges and assault and battery against a family or household member charges based on the relationship between the defendant and the victim. A “family or household” member can include a wide variety of people, including the following:
- A spouse, whether or not they live in the same home
- A former spouse, whether or not they live in the same home
- A person’s parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, sisters, brothers, half-sisters, half-brothers, grandchildren, or grandparents, regardless of whether or not they live in the same home
- A mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law, regardless of whether or not they live in the same home
- Any person the defendant has a child in common with, whether or not they have ever been married or resided together
- Any individual who cohabitates with the defendant or has cohabitated with them in the last 12 months
Who The Police Will Arrest If 911 Is Called
Law enforcement officials almost always make an arrest when they show up for a domestic violence call. Police officers have the discretionary power to make an arrest without a warrant for domestic violence cases or a violation of protective orders, even if the police did not witness the violation.
In these situations, the police will arrest the person that they believe to be the “predominant physical aggressor” based on the facts and circumstances at the time they arrive.
Request A No-Obligation Consultation About Your Domestic Violence Case
If you are dealing with domestic violence issues in your marriage or relationship, it may seem like there is no way out. That is not true. There is always a better way forward. The team at Randall & Bruch, PC, can help you get through this.
Our qualified attorneys have extensive experience in helping clients handle domestic violence cases and are here to protect victims in need of protection.
If you have been a target, we will help you obtain or modify protective orders.