2006 Code of Virginia § 20-103 - Court may make orders pending suit for divorce, custody or visitation, etc.

20-103. Court may make orders pending suit for divorce, custody orvisitation, etc.

A. In suits for divorce, annulment and separate maintenance, and inproceedings arising under subdivision A 3 or subsection L of 16.1-241, thecourt having jurisdiction of the matter may, at any time pending a suitpursuant to this chapter, in the discretion of such court, make any orderthat may be proper (i) to compel a spouse to pay any sums necessary for themaintenance and support of the petitioning spouse, including an order thatthe other spouse provide health care coverage for the petitioning spouse,unless it is shown that such coverage cannot be obtained, (ii) to enable suchspouse to carry on the suit, (iii) to prevent either spouse from imposing anyrestraint on the personal liberty of the other spouse, (iv) to provide forthe custody and maintenance of the minor children of the parties, includingan order that either party provide health care coverage for the children, (v)to provide support, calculated in accordance with 20-108.2, for any childof the parties to whom a duty of support is owed and to continue to supportany child over the age of 18 who meets the requirements set forth insubsection C of 20-124.2, (vi) for the exclusive use and possession of thefamily residence during the pendency of the suit, (vii) to preserve theestate of either spouse, so that it be forthcoming to meet any decree whichmay be made in the suit, or (viii) to compel either spouse to give securityto abide such decree. The parties to any petition where a child whosecustody, visitation, or support is contested shall show proof that they haveattended within the 12 months prior to their court appearance or that theyshall attend within 45 days thereafter an educational seminar or other likeprogram conducted by a qualified person or organization approved by the courtexcept that the court may require the parties to attend such seminar orprogram in uncontested cases only if the court finds good cause. The seminaror other program shall be a minimum of four hours in length and shall addressthe effects of separation or divorce on children, parenting responsibilities,options for conflict resolution and financial responsibilities. Once a partyhas completed one educational seminar or other like program, the requiredcompletion of additional programs shall be at the court's discretion. Partiesunder this section shall include natural or adoptive parents of the child, orany person with a legitimate interest as defined in 20-124.1. The feecharged a party for participation in such program shall be based on theparty's ability to pay; however, no fee in excess of $50 may be charged.Whenever possible, before participating in mediation or alternative disputeresolution to address custody, visitation or support, each party shall haveattended the educational seminar or other like program. The court may grantan exemption from attendance of such program for good cause shown or if thereis no program reasonably available. Other than statements or admissions by aparty admitting criminal activity or child abuse, no statement or admissionby a party in such seminar or program shall be admissible into evidence inany subsequent proceeding.

B. In addition to the terms provided in subsection A, upon a showing by aparty of reasonable apprehension of physical harm to that party by suchparty's family or household member as that term is defined in 16.1-228, andconsistent with rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the court may enteran order excluding that party's family or household member from the jointlyowned or jointly rented family dwelling. In any case where an order isentered under this paragraph, pursuant to an ex parte hearing, the ordershall not exclude a family or household member from the family dwelling for aperiod in excess of 15 days from the date the order is served, in person,upon the person so excluded. The order may provide for an extension of timebeyond the 15 days, to become effective automatically. The person served mayat any time file a written motion in the clerk's office requesting a hearingto dissolve or modify the order. Nothing in this section shall be construedto prohibit the court from extending an order entered under this subsectionfor such longer period of time as is deemed appropriate, after a hearing onnotice to the parties.

C. In cases other than those for divorce in which a custody or visitationarrangement for a minor child is sought, the court may enter an orderproviding for custody, visitation or maintenance pending the suit as providedin subsection A. The order shall be directed to either parent or any personwith a legitimate interest who is a party to the suit.

D. Orders entered pursuant to this section which provide for custody orvisitation arrangements pending the suit shall be made in accordance with thestandards set out in Chapter 6.1 ( 20-124.1 et seq.) of this title. Ordersentered pursuant to subsection B shall be certified by the clerk andforwarded as soon as possible to the local police department or sheriff'soffice which shall, on the date of receipt, enter the name of the personsubject to the order and other appropriate information required by theDepartment of State Police into the Virginia crime information network systemestablished and maintained by the Department of State Police pursuant toChapter 2 ( 52-12 et seq.) of Title 52. If the order is later dissolved ormodified, a copy of the dissolution or modification shall also be certified,forwarded and entered in the system as described above.

E. An order entered pursuant to this section shall have no presumptive effectand shall not be determinative when adjudicating the underlying cause.

(Code 1919, 5107; 1975, c. 644; 1982, c. 306; 1983, c. 253; 1989, c. 740;1991, c. 60; 1994, cc. 518, 769; 1995, c. 674; 1996, cc. 767, 866, 879, 884;1997, c. 605; 1998, c. 616; 2000, c. 586; 2003, cc. 31, 45; 2004, c. 732.)

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