Filing a Domestic Violence Petition in West Virginia
Every human being has a right to be protected from harm. If you are the victim of abuse or violence in your home or relationship, a domestic violence petition can help you achieve this protection.
By filing a petition with the court, you are requesting an Emergency Order of Protection pursuant to West Virginia Code § 48-27-403. When filling out the document, you can request legal safeguards for you, your minor children, and/or any physically or mentally incapacitated member of your family or household.
If you fear for your safety and file a successful domestic violence petition, the court will order mandatory relief, which consists of:
- Ordering your abuser not to abuse, harass, stalk, threaten, intimidate, or cause fear of bodily injury to you and anyone named in your petition.
- Barring your abuser from possessing firearms or ammunition.
- Putting your protective order into effect in every county of the state.
- Notifying your abuser that violating the order could be a criminal offense.
While a judge cannot solve your situation, they can help you and your loved ones stay safe while you take the steps you need to do so. Domestic violence petitions can be filed on their own or in conjunction with a family court case, such as a divorce. They can last for as little as 90 days or as long as 1 year.
The court may choose to grant you whatever legal relief you ask for in your Domestic Violence Petition, including:
- Directing your abuser to stop contacting, communicating with, harassing or verbally abusing you.
- Directing your abuser to stay away from any school, business, or place of employment you are associated with.
- Granting you temporary possession of your residence or household.
- Enforcing a protective order.
- Helping you retrieve personal items or property.
- Requiring your abuser to participate in a treatment program for domestic violence.
- Protecting property that could be subject to court action.
- Granting you temporary custody of minor children.
- Offering you and your children police protection.
You can also ask for privacy in your home and protection for your pet(s).
Additionally, if you are filing against a co-parent or spouse, you can set up a supervised visitation schedule for your children and/or request child support to accompany your temporary custody, along with temporary support and maintenance for yourself. If you had to pursue medical treatment or take shelter away from your home, you can even request reimbursement for the expenses you incurred as a result of the domestic violence.
What Is Domestic Violence?
The state of West Virginia defines domestic violence as physical harm, fear, harassment, psychological abuse, threatening acts, sexual abuse or assault, and/or abducting or holding another person against their will.
If you have experienced any of these phenomena, you have every right to file a domestic violence petition. Any member of your family or residence may also file a petition on your behalf.
Support During a Difficult Time
If you’ve been the victim of domestic abuse, you may be afraid to come forward. At Hardy Pence PLLC, we understand the pressure you are under, and we want to help you pursue legal action against your abuser.
If you call our compassionate legal teamat (304) 345-7250, we can help you file a domestic violence petition and pursue any other aid or relief you may need. Get started today with a confidential consultation.