Domestic violence is a serious criminal and family issue. According to the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, approximately every five days, someone loses their life to domestic violence in this state. Out of those who do survive, some stay in the situation, but others seek the services of a qualified domestic violence attorney to help break free of this abuse. If you have decided that it is time for you to seek an advocate and remove yourself and your children from this dangerous situation, you need to know that you have rights and options.
Although Virginia is a no-fault divorce state with a requirement that both parties live apart for at least one year before filing for divorce, there are exceptions to this law. One of these exceptions is if there is a reasonable fear of bodily harm by either spouse. If you are filing for divorce based on this exception, you will be required to provide specific proof. At-fault divorces are also, unfortunately, more complicated. However, a skilled divorce attorney can help you through every step of this process. You may even have the benefit of receiving more property in the divorce, a more substantial spousal support award, or a better custody arrangement for your children.
There are no emergency divorces, and you will need to work through this process just as other couples do. However, there are many protections available to you under Virginia law.
If you are in imminent danger, it is in your best interest to seek an emergency order of protection. These orders can:
Emergency orders of protection can be filed 24 hours a day 365 days a year by any circuit court, general district court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court judge, or by a magistrate depending on the jurisdiction. You can pursue emergency protective orders on your own or hire a divorce lawyer to help you. Even if you file the emergency orders on your own, an attorney can help you seek preliminary and full protective orders that extend beyond an initial 72-hour Emergency Protective Order.
Our team of domestic violence attorneys serves both men and women. We know the specific and proper course of action to pursue when presented with any case involving domestic violence. If you have decided that your marriage is irreparably damaged because of domestic violence or other reasons, the attorneys at Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC, can provide compassionate and effective legal representation. Our goal is to match you with a divorce lawyer that you feel comfortable with and is affordable. If you are ready to dissolve your marriage, contact us to schedule your divorce case review today.