domestic violence One of the critical drivers for a spouse to consider divorce is domestic violence. Under Virginia law, you have grounds for divorce if your spouse “has been guilty of cruelty” or caused you to have a “reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt.” Your Richmond domestic violence lawyer can help you address the risk of domestic violence both during divorce proceedings and afterwards.

Identifying Domestic Violence

When reviewing your situation, your lawyer will consider the following broad types of activities as pointing to domestic violence:

  • Threats and intimidation
  • Physical abuse
  • Isolation and controlling behavior
  • Emotional abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Sexual abuse

If you have been subjected to one of these types of abuse, you may be able to obtain a protective order.

Types of Protective Orders

Your lawyer will help you determine the best way to proceed.  Virginia law provides for three types of protective orders:

  • Emergency Protective Orders – Emergency orders can be obtained quickly, often without a court hearing, and last up to three days.
  • Preliminary Protective Orders – Preliminary orders require a court hearing, which is normally a summary proceeding involving only you. Preliminary orders last up to a maximum of fifteen days.
  • Protective Order – Protective orders are issued after a hearing where your spouse has an opportunity to participate. They can last up to two years.


Contact Us

There are many types of domestic violence. Determining whether your spouse’s behavior is domestic violence depends on several factors. A lawyer trained to work with domestic violence situations can help you decide whether a protective order will benefit you. Our attorneys at Smith Strong serve clients from Richmond to Williamsburg and we are dedicated to helping you with your case. Call to make an appointment for a consultation today: Richmond, (804) 325-1245 or Williamsburg, (757) 941-4298.