In Virginia, adults are not the only ones entitled to a protective order. A preliminary protective order protects a child’s safety, health and normal development. Judges often order these if a child is a witness or victim to abuse, domestic violence or any other circumstance that creates a hardship or unsafe environment for the minor. If you are the custodial parent, what does this order mean for you?

The Code of Virginia states that the guardian of the child has to follow the judge’s order for reasonable conditions. Parents must abstain from offensive conduct, must cooperate with the appropriate services to protect the child, allow the court to appoint someone to visit the child and inspect the home for safety hazards, to refrain from any act that might endanger the child and to allow visitation to those who have an entitlement.

If a court finds that a child may be in danger in contact with a household or family member, that person may have to leave the child’s residence. It is crucial that the courts prove that the person in the residence will constitute as a future danger in the child’s life.

As the child’s parent, if you are under the scrutiny of the courts, you do have the right to confront adverse witnesses and evidence. You may present evidence and cross-examine any person who speaks against you. The courts decide whether any abuse or neglect allegations have proof.

All of the information here is only to provide you with educational information about child protective orders. Do not misconstrue anything here as legal advice.