Judge with gavelThis is the next post in my series on how protective orders impact family law proceedings in Virginia. My last article discussed how child custody proceedings are affected by a PPO. It is important to understand that the court will always be concerned with the child’s best interests and it will almost always restrict the visitation of a parent who is seen as dangerous. If a PPO has been taken out against you then it is important to contact a family law attorney immediately. In this post I will discuss why parents must adhere to an order once it has been issued. If you need assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

It is understandable that one will be frustrated when the court has upheld the issuance of a protective order against them. Not following the order, however, can have dire consequences. First, contacting or coming near the protected party can lead to criminal charges, as well as being held in contempt of the protective order. Such a situation can lead to jail time, fines, and other penalties. Just as important is the fact that a court may require that a violating party only receive supervised child visitation for a period of time. Depending on the circumstances the court may also suspend visitation altogether for a period of time. In short, violating a PPO can put a parent in a very bad place when it comes to their child custody proceedings.

If you are the party who is under the protection of a PPO then it is also crucial that you avoid all contact with the other party. Courts may dissolve a protective order if it is shown that the person requesting protection is contacting the other side. The reason why the courts would dissolve the order is obvious – one is not likely to contact a person when they feel they need protection from them. Contacting the other party may lead to the court to believe that the protective order was requested under false or exaggerated pretenses. If such is the case then the court may also be willing to entertain a change of custody and to make the other parent the primary custodian. This is due to the fact that a primary custodian is expected to foster a relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. It goes without saying that falsifying requests for a PPO does not help to foster such a relationship.

If you are involved in child custody proceedings and your case involves a protective order then contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. As a family law law firm we handle many such cases and we are ready to assist you.