The Virginia State Senate has approved legislation that expands the rights of a person petitioning for a protective order and puts an alleged abuser on the hook for costs associated with some of the victim’s needs and costs.
One characteristic of an abuser is finding ways to control the victim. And if and when a victim finally leaves or seeks a protective order, she still may be hindered by the inability to travel if the abuser controls the car. But under this bill, a court can grant use of a vehicle to the petitioner while the respondent is ordered to maintain the insurance, registration, and taxes--and to NOT stop paying them. A court can also require the respondent to maintain utilities, mortgage payments, rent, and insurance on the residence. But while he supports helping the victims, Senator Bill Stanley says some lawyers and bitter spouses would abuse the law. That's why he agrees this should continue to be decided by COURT proceedings, not magistrates.
The bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly with no dissenting votes and now heads to the House.