Tag Archives: VA Child Custody

Child Custody Virginia Lawyer Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun

CHILD CUSTODY – VIRGINIA LAWYERS

Get Child Custody Help When It Matters The Most

One of the first questions in a divorce in Virginia is who will get custody of the child or children?

Child custody in Virginia is a legal term used to qualify the relationship the child or children has between the parents. A determination of child custody in Virginia will resolve issues such as which parent will the child or children spend the majority of time with or will the parents equally share their time with the child or children. Also, a determination of child custody in Virginia may have an impact on child support payments and a determination of who are the payer and the payee.

If you are in need the help of a lawyer in Virginia for a child custody case, turn to the Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. for help. We have client meeting locations in Virginia to better serve you.

Virginia: Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Loudoun, Lynchburg, Manassas, Richmond & Virginia Beach.

If you wish to speak with one of our lawyers in Virginia regarding a child custody case in Virginia, please feel free to call us 888-437-7747

Virginia Child Custody Laws

Virginia Child Custody Laws

The following is a general overview of some of the issues that a parent may face in regards to child custody in Virginia.

The child custody courts in Virginia will frequently use the term “best interests of the child” in making a determination as to child custody in Virginia. Although the courts in Virginia will generally consider all the factors in a child custody determination, some factors will be given more weight than others.

Our Virginia lawyers have found that most parents are able to decide by themselves what the child custody and visitation arrangements are going to be for the child or children without a judge deciding the issue of child custody. However, some parents in Virginia are not reasonable and unable to cooperate and come to an agreement as to the custody of the child or children. When parents engage in child custody litigation, the relationship between the parents can become very hostile. The mentality some parents take is that of a win at all costs. Some of the allegations that are made in court filings are that of sexual, physical, emotional abuse, alienation of affection by the other parent, etc. The Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. will always counsel their clients to take the “high road” in a custody battle. The reason we counsel our clients to take the high road approach in a child custody battle is for two reasons:

  1. the truth ultimately comes out and judges who have been hearing child custody cases in Virginia are not pleased when parents make false allegations;
  2. although it is very important that you do not allow false allegations to go unchallenged, child custody battles can be very expensive. If both parties engage in making speculative allegations in a child custody case, this will only drive up the cost of litigation.

When child custody disputes arise in Virginia, it is not uncommon for one of the parents to attempt to engage in forum shopping in an endeavor to gain an unfair edge against the other party. Forum shopping is basically looking for a state or country that may have more favorable laws towards one of the parents in regards to child custody. Many countries have become a part of the Hague Convention to prevent forum shopping between countries. Additionally, in the United States, an act called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was enacted and adopted by every state to prevent forum shopping in child custody cases. The essence of this act is to require all the states to defer to the jurisdiction of the home state of the child or children. The Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. have represented clients who have to deal with the other parent attempting to engage in forum shopping. It is very important to hire the services of a lawyer when faced with an issue of forum shopping. The statutory designation of “home state” lasts only for a certain period of time.

The attorneys of SRIS, P.C. do truly care about you and your children and we look forward to helping you.

Please feel free to call us at 888-437-7747.

Our attorneys and staff speak the following languages in addition to English: Tamil, Arabic, Hindi, Telugu, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Malaysian & French.
Frequently, the clients we represent in Virginia are inundated with variety of different terms regarding child custody and support. In an endeavor to better assist them understand the different terms used, the following are some of the official definitions from the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

FAQ’s for Child Custody Law Issues:

But what exactly determines this “best interests of the child” criteria?

Do Mother’s Have More “Clout” When It Comes To Retaining Child Custody?

What is Joint Custody?

It’s one of the sadder parts of any divorce – determining child custody and visitation. In deciding which parent (or both) gets custody, the court takes into account a multitude of factors.

In almost all courts in every state, the standard is: “The child’s best interests.” In deciding child custody issues – this one aspect is given the highest priority.

But what exactly determines this “best interests of the child” criteria?

Here’s a checklist of the most commonly used factors:

  • The child’s age, sex, and mental and physical health
  • The parent’s mental and physical health
  • The parent’s lifestyle and other social factors, including whether the child is exposed to second-hand smoke and whether there is any history of child abuse
  • The emotional bond between parent and child, as well as the parent’s ability to give the child guidance
  • The parent’s ability to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and medical care
  • The child’s established living pattern (school, home, community, religious institution)
  • The quality of the child’s education
  • The impact of changing the status quo in the child’s daily routine, and
  • The child’s preference, if the child is above a certain age (usually about 12).

In many cases, there are no clear cut answers in determining which parent clearly “outranks” another in fulfilling these custodial factors. Each may be equally (or nearly) qualified in providing for the child’s welfare and well being.

In divorce and child custody law cases like these, the courts focus on which parent will provide the child with the more stable environment, including maintaining a healthy relationship with the other parent. When a child is young, special attention is given to the parent who has been the child’s primary caregiver. However, with older children, the parent who is best able to provide continuity in education, neighborhood life, religious institutions, and peer relationships may be awarded primary custody.

Also, the judge in child custody cases in Virginia will place great weight upon the fact if the children will be remaining in the home where they were raised and lived as a family, if they will be continuing in the same school, participate in their usual activities and generally enjoy their regular routines. A judge will be adverse to changing these normal physical locations, conditions and schedules.

Another factor that comes into play with child custody cases is when one parent moves out of the house, leaving the child or children with the remaining spouse. This can adversely affect the chances of the distant parent gaining custody – even if they left in order to avoid highly unpleasant or even dangerous situations.

If the situation is so volatile, then seriously consider taking the children with you. If you don’t, the court may properly assume you considered the options and believed the remaining spouse was a competent caregiver – regardless of the situation between the two parents. If you do leave with the children, file as quickly as possible in family court for temporary child custody and child support. Speed is of the essence, because if you don’t act first, the other spouse may go to court first and allege that the kids were taken without that spouse’s knowledge.

Family law judges don’t look very highly on a parent who removes the children from the home without seeking legal recognition. A judge may order the children be returned to the family home, pending future proceedings to determine physical custody.

(top)

Do Mother’s Have More “Clout” When It Comes To Retaining Child Custody?

In the past, it was customary for the courts to award custody of young children (about 5 years old or younger) to the mother when couples divorced. This “tender years” doctrine has been almost entirely replaced – either rejected outright or relegated to the role of tie-breaker if two otherwise fit parents request custody of their pre-school children

Every state now takes into consideration the fitness of both parents – the mother no longer automatically enjoys a de-facto privilege when custody is being determined. Most states require their courts determine custody on the basis of what’s in the children’s best interests, without regard to the parent’s gender.

Many divorcing parents do agree the mother will have custody after a separation or divorce, with the father exercising reasonable visitation rights. If this happens because both parents agree the mother has more time, a greater inclination in parenting, or a better understanding of the children’s daily needs – then all is well and good. But many times the father presumes the mother will automatically be awarded custody and never pursues the matter – or because the mother is more tenacious in seeking custody.

As a father, if you want to ask the court for physical custody, don’t let gender stereotypes stop you. If both you and the mother work full-time, and the kids have after-school care, you may both be on equal footing. In fact, if you have more flexible hours than the mother, you could be at an advantage. In any event, the judge will look at what’s best for the children in custody cases.

So if you as father think you are the better caregiver and should have primary custody – it’s up to you to convince the judge that it’s in the kids’ best interests to stay with you. If you present yourself as a willing and able parent, it will go a long way towards challenging any lingering prejudice against you as a father.

(top)

What is Joint Custody?

“Joint custody” pursuant to child custody law is when the court awards partial custody to both parents. Child custody law recognizes one of three forms when addressing joint custody:

  • joint physical custody (children spend a substantial amount of time with each parent)
  • joint legal custody (parents share decision-making on medical, educational, and religious questions involving the children), or
  • both joint legal and joint physical custody.

(top)

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

 

Child Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.2 Fairfax Prince William Loudoun Richmond Beach

CHILD CUSTODY IN VIRGINIA

If you need help with a contested child custody case in Virginia, our law firm can help you.

Virginia Court pursuant to Virginia Code 20-124.2 may order custody and visitation.

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a child custody in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg

Child Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.2

Child Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.2

CHILD CUSTODY-Va. Code Ann 20-124.2

Virginia Code 20-124.2. Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements

A. In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court shall provide prompt adjudication, upon due consideration of all the facts, of custody and visitation arrangements, including support and maintenance for the children, prior to other considerations arising in the matter. The court may enter an order pending the suit as provided in 20-103. The procedures for determining custody and visitation arrangements shall insofar as practical, and consistent with the ends of justice, preserve the dignity and resources of family members. Mediation shall be used as an alternative to litigation where appropriate. When mediation is used in custody and visitation matters, the goals may include development of a proposal addressing the child’s residential schedule and care arrangements, and how disputes between the parents will be handled in the future.

B. In determining custody, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests of the child. The court shall assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents, when appropriate, and encourage parents to share in the responsibilities of rearing their children. As between the parents, there shall be no presumption or inference of law in favor of either. The court shall give due regard to the primacy of the parent-child relationship but may upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the best interest of the child would be served thereby award custody or visitation to any other person with a legitimate interest. The court may award joint custody or sole custody.

C. The court may order that support be paid for any child of the parties. The court shall also order that support will continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs. The court may also order the continuation of support for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, (ii) unable to live independently and support himself, and (iii) resides in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support. In addition, the court may confirm a stipulation or agreement of the parties which extends a support obligation beyond when it would otherwise terminate as provided by law. The court shall have no authority to decree support of children payable by the estate of a deceased party. The court may make such further decree as it shall deem expedient concerning support of the minor children, including an order that either party or both parties provide health care coverage or cash medical support, or both.

D. In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court may order an independent mental health or psychological evaluation to assist the court in its determination of the best interests of the child. The court may enter such order as it deems appropriate for the payment of the costs of the evaluation by the parties.

E. The court shall have the continuing authority and jurisdiction to make any additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce any order entered pursuant to this section or 20-103 including the authority to punish as contempt of court any willful failure of a party to comply with the provisions of the order. A parent or other person having legal custody of a child may petition the court to enjoin and the court may enter an order to enjoin a parent of the child from filing a petition relating to custody and visitation of that child for any period of time up to 10 years if doing so is in the best interests of the child and such parent has been convicted of an offense under the laws of the Commonwealth or a substantially similar law of another state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction which constitutes (i) murder or voluntary manslaughter, or a felony attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any such offense, if the victim of the offense was a child of the parent, a child with whom the parent resided at the time the offense occurred, or the other parent of the child, or (ii) felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury, felony bodily wounding resulting in serious bodily injury, or felony sexual assault, if the victim of the offense was a child of the parent or a child with whom the parent resided at the time of the offense. When such a petition to enjoin the filing of a petition for custody and visitation is filed, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child pursuant to 16.1-266.

Virginia Statute Description  Conditions
Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(A) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The circuit or district court shall provide prompt adjudication on considering the custody and visitation arrangements, support and maintenance and other considerations arising in the matter. The court order a pendente lite order according to § 20-103.
 Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(B) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The court may award joint custody or sole custody. Primary Importance is given to the best interests of the child. Court also orders for frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
   Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(C) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The court may order for child support and may order that it be continued even if the child is over the age of 18 if the child is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs, iv) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, v) unable to live independently and support himself, and (vi) resides in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support.The powers of the court regarding the support of children payable by the estate of a deceased party.The court may also order that either party or both parties provide health care coverage or cash medical support, or both.
 Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(D) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The circuit or district court may order mental health or psychological evaluation as it would assist in determining the best interests of a child and for appropriate payment of costs.
Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(E) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The court shall make additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce any order entered pursuant to this section or § 20-103.The court is vested with the authority to punish for contempt of court in case of any willful failure of a party to comply with the provisions of the order.The court may enjoin any person from filing for custody or visitation if one party petitions that it is for the best interest of the child and who had been convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter, or a felony attempt, or any offense against child or (ii) felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury.The court appoints appoint a guardian ad litem pursuant to § 16.1-266, when such a petition to enjoin the filing of a petition for custody and visitation is filed.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:

Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 A Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a child custody in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:

Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

 

Child Custody Virginia Laws Best Interests 20-124.3 Fairfax Prince William Loudoun Richmond Beach

Child Custody Virginia Lawyer Best Interests

If you need help with a contested best interests child custody case in Virginia, our firm can help you.

Virginia Court pursuant to Virginia Code 20-124.3 is the statute that identifies the best interests factors a court must consider when ordering custody and visitation.

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a best interest’s child custody case in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg

Child Custody Virginia Laws Best Interests 20-124.3

Child Custody Virginia Laws Best Interests 20-124.3

CHILD CUSTODY-Va. Code Ann § 20-124.3

§ 20-124.3. Best interests of the child; visitation.

In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, the court shall consider the following:

  1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs;
  2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
  3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
  4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;
  5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;
  6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
  7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
  8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;
  9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and
  10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

The judge shall communicate to the parties the basis of the decision either orally or in writing. Except in cases of consent orders for custody and visitation, this communication shall set forth the judge’s findings regarding the relevant factors set forth in this section.

 

Virginia Statute

 

The court in the best interests of a child for custody and visitation including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, shall consider the following

Conditions:

    Va. Code Ann § 20-124.3Best interests of the child; visitation  

  1. Child’s age, physical and mental condition, giving due consideration to the child’s changing. developmental needs.
  2. Parent’s age and physical and mental condition.
  3. Existing relationship between each parent and child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, access, emotional, intellectual and physical needs.
  4. Needs of the child, giving importance to other relationships, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members.
  5. The role the parent has played and be will play in the future, regarding upbringing and care.
  6. Parent’s active role in allowing the child to contact and have a healthy relationship with the other parent.
  7. Child’s reasonable preference, if the court deems that the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference.
  8. Child’s reasonable preference, if the court deems that the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference.
  9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse.
  10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination of custody and visitation.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:

Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 A Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a best interest’s child custody case in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:

Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

 

Joint Sole Legal Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.1 Definitions Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun Prince William

Sole & Joint Legal Custody – Virginia Lawyers

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Sole & Joint Legal Custody In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

Joint Sole Legal Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.1

Joint Sole Legal Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.1

VIRGINIA CHILD CUSTODY LAWS 20-124.1. DEFINITIONS.

As used in this chapter:

Joint custody” means (i) joint legal custody where both parents retain joint responsibility for the care and control of the child and joint authority to make decisions concerning the child even though the child’s primary residence may be with only one parent, (ii) joint physical custody where both parents share physical and custodial care of the child, or (iii) any combination of joint legal and joint physical custody which the court deems to be in the best interest of the child.

“Person with a legitimate interest” shall be broadly construed and includes, but is not limited to grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members provided any such party has intervened in the suit or is otherwise properly before the court. The term shall be broadly construed to accommodate the best interest of the child. A party with a legitimate interest shall not include any person (i) whose parental rights have been terminated by court order, either voluntarily or involuntarily, (ii) whose interest in the child derives from or through a person whose parental rights have been terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, including but not limited to grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members, if the child subsequently has been legally adopted, except where a final order of adoption is entered pursuant to 63.2-1241, or (iii) who has been convicted of a violation of subsection A of 18.2-61, 18.2-63, subsection B of 18.2-366, or an equivalent offense of another state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, when the child who is the subject of the petition was conceived as a result of such violation.

Sole custody” means that one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:

Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 A Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Sole & Joint Legal Custody In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:

Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

Inconvenient Forum Virginia Laws 20-146.18 Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun Prince William

Inconvenient Forum Cases – Virginia Lawyers

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Inconvenient Forum Cases In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

Inconvenient Forum Virginia Laws 20-146.18

Inconvenient Forum Virginia Laws 20-146.18

VIRGINIA LAWYERS – UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT STATUTES

Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18

§ 20-146.18. Inconvenient forum.

A. A court of this Commonwealth that has jurisdiction under this act to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon the motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.

B. Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this Commonwealth shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to present evidence and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;

      1. The length of time the child has resided outside this Commonwealth;
      2. The distance between the court in this Commonwealth and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;
      3. The relative financial circumstances of the parties;
      4. Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;
      5. The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;
      6. The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and
      7. The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

C. If a court of this Commonwealth determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

D. A court of this Commonwealth may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this act if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

VIRGINIA LAWYERS -INCONVENIENT FORUM

Virginia Statute

Jurisdiction

 

Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(A)Inconvenient forum A court of this Commonwealth that has jurisdiction under this act

  1. To make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum.
  2.  The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon the motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.

 

Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(B)Inconvenient forum Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this Commonwealth shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to present evidence and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

  1. Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;
  2. The length of time the child has resided outside this Commonwealth;
  3. The distance between the court in this Commonwealth and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;
  4. The relative financial circumstances of the parties;
  5. Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;
  6. The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;
  7. The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and
  8. The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

 

  Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(C)

 

If a court of this Commonwealth determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.
 Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(D) A court of this Commonwealth may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this act if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:

Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 A Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Inconvenient Forum Cases In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:

Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

Child Custody Virginia Lawyer Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun

CHILD CUSTODY – VIRGINIA LAWYERS

Get Child Custody Help When It Matters The Most

One of the first questions in a divorce in Virginia is who will get custody of the child or children?

Child custody in Virginia is a legal term used to qualify the relationship the child or children has between the parents. A determination of child custody in Virginia will resolve issues such as which parent will the child or children spend the majority of time with or will the parents equally share their time with the child or children. Also, a determination of child custody in Virginia may have an impact on child support payments and a determination of who are the payer and the payee.

If you are in need the help of a lawyer in Virginia for a child custody case, turn to the Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. for help. We have client meeting locations in Virginia to better serve you.

Virginia: Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Loudoun, Lynchburg, Manassas, Richmond & Virginia Beach.

If you wish to speak with one of our lawyers in Virginia regarding a child custody case in Virginia, please feel free to call us 888-437-7747

Virginia Child Custody Laws

Virginia Child Custody Laws

The following is a general overview of some of the issues that a parent may face in regards to child custody in Virginia.

The child custody courts in Virginia will frequently use the term “best interests of the child” in making a determination as to child custody in Virginia. Although the courts in Virginia will generally consider all the factors in a child custody determination, some factors will be given more weight than others.

Our Virginia lawyers have found that most parents are able to decide by themselves what the child custody and visitation arrangements are going to be for the child or children without a judge deciding the issue of child custody. However, some parents in Virginia are not reasonable and unable to cooperate and come to an agreement as to the custody of the child or children. When parents engage in child custody litigation, the relationship between the parents can become very hostile. The mentality some parents take is that of a win at all costs. Some of the allegations that are made in court filings are that of sexual, physical, emotional abuse, alienation of affection by the other parent, etc. The Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. will always counsel their clients to take the “high road” in a custody battle. The reason we counsel our clients to take the high road approach in a child custody battle is for two reasons:

  1. the truth ultimately comes out and judges who have been hearing child custody cases in Virginia are not pleased when parents make false allegations;
  2. although it is very important that you do not allow false allegations to go unchallenged, child custody battles can be very expensive. If both parties engage in making speculative allegations in a child custody case, this will only drive up the cost of litigation.

When child custody disputes arise in Virginia, it is not uncommon for one of the parents to attempt to engage in forum shopping in an endeavor to gain an unfair edge against the other party. Forum shopping is basically looking for a state or country that may have more favorable laws towards one of the parents in regards to child custody. Many countries have become a part of the Hague Convention to prevent forum shopping between countries. Additionally, in the United States, an act called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was enacted and adopted by every state to prevent forum shopping in child custody cases. The essence of this act is to require all the states to defer to the jurisdiction of the home state of the child or children. The Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. have represented clients who have to deal with the other parent attempting to engage in forum shopping. It is very important to hire the services of a lawyer when faced with an issue of forum shopping. The statutory designation of “home state” lasts only for a certain period of time.

The attorneys of SRIS, P.C. do truly care about you and your children and we look forward to helping you.

Please feel free to call us at 888-437-7747.

Our attorneys and staff speak the following languages in addition to English: Tamil, Arabic, Hindi, Telugu, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Malaysian& French.
Frequently, the clients we represent in Virginia are inundated with variety of different terms regarding child custody and support. In an endeavor to better assist them understand the different terms used, the following are some of the official definitions from the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:
Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 AMunicipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

FAQ’s for Child Custody Law Issues:

But what exactly determines this “best interests of the child” criteria?

Do Mother’sHave More “Clout” When It Comes To Retaining Child Custody?

What is Joint Custody?

It’s one of the sadder parts of any divorce – determining child custody and visitation. In deciding which parent (or both) gets custody, the court takes into account a multitude of factors.

In almost all courts in every state, the standard is: “The child’s best interests.” In deciding child custody issues – this one aspect is given the highest priority.

But what exactly determines this “best interests of the child” criteria?

Here’s a checklist of the most commonly used factors:

  • The child’s age, sex, and mental and physical health
  • The parent’s mental and physical health
  • The parent’s lifestyle and other social factors, including whether the child is exposed to second-hand smoke and whether there is any history of child abuse
  • The emotional bond between parent and child, as well as the parent’s ability to give the child guidance
  • The parent’s ability to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and medical care
  • The child’s established living pattern (school, home, community, religious institution)
  • The quality of the child’s education
  • The impact of changing the status quo in the child’s daily routine, and
  • The child’s preference, if the child is above a certain age (usually about 12).

In many cases, there are no clear cut answers in determining which parent clearly “outranks” another in fulfilling these custodial factors. Each may be equally (or nearly) qualified in providing for the child’s welfare and well being.

In divorce and child custody law cases like these, the courts focus on which parent will provide the child with the more stable environment, including maintaining a healthy relationship with the other parent. When a child is young, special attention is given to the parent who has been the child’s primary caregiver. However, with older children, the parent who is best able to provide continuity in education, neighborhood life, religious institutions, and peer relationships may be awarded primary custody.

Also, the judge in child custody cases in Virginia will place great weight upon the fact if the children will be remaining in the home where they were raised and lived as a family, if they will be continuing in the same school, participate in their usual activities and generally enjoy their regular routines. A judge will be adverse to changing these normal physical locations, conditions and schedules.

Another factor that comes into play with child custody cases is when one parent moves out of the house, leaving the child or children with the remaining spouse. This can adversely affect the chances of the distant parent gaining custody – even if they left in order to avoid highly unpleasant or even dangerous situations.

If the situation is so volatile, then seriously consider taking the children with you. If you don’t, the court may properly assume you considered the options and believed the remaining spouse was a competent caregiver – regardless of the situation between the two parents. If you do leave with the children, file as quickly as possible in family court for temporary child custody and child support. Speed is of the essence, because if you don’t act first, the other spouse may go to court first and allege that the kids were taken without that spouse’s knowledge.

Family law judges don’t look very highly on a parent who removes the children from the home without seeking legal recognition. A judge may order the children be returned to the family home, pending future proceedings to determine physical custody.

Do Mother’sHave More “Clout” When It Comes To Retaining Child Custody?

In the past, it was customary for the courts to award custody of young children (about 5 years old or younger) to the mother when couples divorced. This “tender years” doctrine has been almost entirely replaced – either rejected outright or relegated to the role of tie-breaker if two otherwise fit parents request custody of their pre-school children

Every state now takes into consideration the fitness of both parents – the mother no longer automatically enjoys a de-facto privilege when custody is being determined. Most states require their courts determine custody on the basis of what’s in the children’s best interests, without regard to the parent’s gender.

Many divorcing parents do agree the mother will have custody after a separation or divorce, with the father exercising reasonable visitation rights. If this happens because both parents agree the mother has more time, a greater inclination in parenting, or a better understanding of the children’s daily needs – then all is well and good. But many times the father presumes the mother will automatically be awarded custody and never pursues the matter – or because the mother is more tenacious in seeking custody.

As a father, if you want to ask the court for physical custody, don’t let gender stereotypes stop you. If both you and the mother work full-time, and the kids have after-school care, you may both be on equal footing. In fact, if you have more flexible hours than the mother, you could be at an advantage. In any event, the judge will look at what’s best for the children in custody cases.

So if you as father think you are the better caregiver and should have primary custody – it’s up to you to convince the judge that it’s in the kids’ best interests to stay with you. If you present yourself as a willing and able parent, it will go a long way towards challenging any lingering prejudice against you as a father.

What is Joint Custody?

“Joint custody” pursuant to child custody law is when the court awards partial custody to both parents. Child custody law recognizes one of three forms when addressing joint custody:

  • joint physical custody (children spend a substantial amount of time with each parent)
  • joint legal custody (parents share decision-making on medical, educational, and religious questions involving the children), or
  • both joint legal and joint physical custody.
We also cover the following courts in Virginia:
Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

Child Custody Virginia Laws Best Interests 20-124.3 Fairfax Prince William Loudoun Richmond Beach

Child Custody Virginia Lawyer Best Interests

If you need help with a contested best interests child custody case in Virginia, our firm can help you.

Virginia Court pursuant to Virginia Code 20-124.3 is the statute that identifies the best interests factors a court must consider when ordering custody and visitation.

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a best interest’s child custody case in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg

Child Custody Virginia Laws Best Interests 20-124.3

Child Custody Virginia Laws Best Interests 20-124.3

CHILD CUSTODY-Va. Code Ann § 20-124.3

§ 20-124.3. Best interests of the child; visitation.

In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, the court shall consider the following:

  1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs;
  2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
  3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
  4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;
  5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;
  6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
  7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
  8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;
  9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and
  10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

The judge shall communicate to the parties the basis of the decision either orally or in writing. Except in cases of consent orders for custody and visitation, this communication shall set forth the judge’s findings regarding the relevant factors set forth in this section.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:
Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 AMunicipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Virginia Statute  The court in the best interests of a child for custody and visitation including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, shall consider the following

Conditions:

Va. Code Ann § 20-124.3

Best interests of the child; visitation

 

  1. Child’s age, physical and mental condition, giving due consideration to the child’s changing. developmental needs.
  2. Parent’s age and physical and mental condition.
  3. Existing relationship between each parent and child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, access, emotional, intellectual and physical needs.
  4. Needs of the child, giving importance to other relationships, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members.
  5. The role the parent has played and be will play in the future, regarding upbringing and care.
  6. Parent’s active role in allowing the child to contact and have a healthy relationship with the other parent.
  7. Child’s reasonable preference, if the court deems that the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference.
  8. Child’s reasonable preference, if the court deems that the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference.
  9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse.
  10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination of custody and visitation.

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a best interest’s child custody case in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:
Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

Child Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.2 Fairfax Prince William Loudoun Richmond Beach

CHILD CUSTODY IN VIRGINIA

If you need help with a contested child custody case in Virginia, our law firm can help you.

Virginia Court pursuant to Virginia Code 20-124.2 may order custody and visitation.

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a child custody in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg

Child Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.2

Child Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.2

CHILD CUSTODY-Va. Code Ann 20-124.2

Virginia Code 20-124.2. Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements

A. In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court shall provide prompt adjudication, upon due consideration of all the facts, of custody and visitation arrangements, including support and maintenance for the children, prior to other considerations arising in the matter. The court may enter an order pending the suit as provided in 20-103. The procedures for determining custody and visitation arrangements shall insofar as practical, and consistent with the ends of justice, preserve the dignity and resources of family members. Mediation shall be used as an alternative to litigation where appropriate. When mediation is used in custody and visitation matters, the goals may include development of a proposal addressing the child’s residential schedule and care arrangements, and how disputes between the parents will be handled in the future.

B. In determining custody, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests of the child. The court shall assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents, when appropriate, and encourage parents to share in the responsibilities of rearing their children. As between the parents, there shall be no presumption or inference of law in favor of either. The court shall give due regard to the primacy of the parent-child relationship but may upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the best interest of the child would be served thereby award custody or visitation to any other person with a legitimate interest. The court may award joint custody or sole custody.

C. The court may order that support be paid for any child of the parties. The court shall also order that support will continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs. The court may also order the continuation of support for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, (ii) unable to live independently and support himself, and (iii) resides in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support. In addition, the court may confirm a stipulation or agreement of the parties which extends a support obligation beyond when it would otherwise terminate as provided by law. The court shall have no authority to decree support of children payable by the estate of a deceased party. The court may make such further decree as it shall deem expedient concerning support of the minor children, including an order that either party or both parties provide health care coverage or cash medical support, or both.

D. In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court may order an independent mental health or psychological evaluation to assist the court in its determination of the best interests of the child. The court may enter such order as it deems appropriate for the payment of the costs of the evaluation by the parties.

E. The court shall have the continuing authority and jurisdiction to make any additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce any order entered pursuant to this section or 20-103 including the authority to punish as contempt of court any willful failure of a party to comply with the provisions of the order. A parent or other person having legal custody of a child may petition the court to enjoin and the court may enter an order to enjoin a parent of the child from filing a petition relating to custody and visitation of that child for any period of time up to 10 years if doing so is in the best interests of the child and such parent has been convicted of an offense under the laws of the Commonwealth or a substantially similar law of another state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction which constitutes (i) murder or voluntary manslaughter, or a felony attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any such offense, if the victim of the offense was a child of the parent, a child with whom the parent resided at the time the offense occurred, or the other parent of the child, or (ii) felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury, felony bodily wounding resulting in serious bodily injury, or felony sexual assault, if the victim of the offense was a child of the parent or a child with whom the parent resided at the time of the offense. When such a petition to enjoin the filing of a petition for custody and visitation is filed, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child pursuant to 16.1-266.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:
Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 AMunicipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Virginia Statute

Description

Conditions

Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(A) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The circuit or district court shall provide prompt adjudication on considering the custody and visitation arrangements, support and maintenance and other considerations arising in the matter. The court order a pendente lite order according to § 20-103.
 Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(B) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The court may award joint custody or sole custody. Primary Importance is given to the best interests of the child. Court also orders for frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
   Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(C) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The court may order for child support and may order that it be continued even if the child is over the age of 18 if the child is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs, iv) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, v) unable to live independently and support himself, and (vi) resides in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support.The powers of the court regarding the support of children payable by the estate of a deceased party.The court may also order that either party or both parties provide health care coverage or cash medical support, or both.
 Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(D) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The circuit or district court may order mental health or psychological evaluation as it would assist in determining the best interests of a child and for appropriate payment of costs.
Va. Code Ann § 20-124.2(E) Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements The court shall make additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce any order entered pursuant to this section or § 20-103.The court is vested with the authority to punish for contempt of court in case of any willful failure of a party to comply with the provisions of the order.The court may enjoin any person from filing for custody or visitation if one party petitions that it is for the best interest of the child and who had been convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter, or a felony attempt, or any offense against child or (ii) felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury.The court appoints appoint a guardian ad litem pursuant to § 16.1-266, when such a petition to enjoin the filing of a petition for custody and visitation is filed.

If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help you with a child custody in Virginia, call us for help.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:
Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

Joint Sole Legal Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.1 Definitions Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun Prince William

Sole & Joint Legal Custody – Virginia Lawyers

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Sole & Joint Legal Custody In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

Joint Sole Legal Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.1

Joint Sole Legal Custody Virginia Laws 20-124.1

VIRGINIA CHILD CUSTODY LAWS 20-124.1. DEFINITIONS.

As used in this chapter:

Joint custody” means (i) joint legal custody where both parents retain joint responsibility for the care and control of the child and joint authority to make decisions concerning the child even though the child’s primary residence may be with only one parent, (ii) joint physical custody where both parents share physical and custodial care of the child, or (iii) any combination of joint legal and joint physical custody which the court deems to be in the best interest of the child.

“Person with a legitimate interest” shall be broadly construed and includes, but is not limited to grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members provided any such party has intervened in the suit or is otherwise properly before the court. The term shall be broadly construed to accommodate the best interest of the child. A party with a legitimate interest shall not include any person (i) whose parental rights have been terminated by court order, either voluntarily or involuntarily, (ii) whose interest in the child derives from or through a person whose parental rights have been terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, including but not limited to grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members, if the child subsequently has been legally adopted, except where a final order of adoption is entered pursuant to 63.2-1241, or (iii) who has been convicted of a violation of subsection A of 18.2-61, 18.2-63, subsection B of 18.2-366, or an equivalent offense of another state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, when the child who is the subject of the petition was conceived as a result of such violation.

Sole custody” means that one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:
Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 AMunicipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Sole & Joint Legal Custody In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:
Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

Inconvenient Forum Virginia Laws 20-146.18 Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun Prince William

Inconvenient Forum Cases – Virginia Lawyers

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Inconvenient Forum Cases In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

Inconvenient Forum Virginia Laws 20-146.18

Inconvenient Forum Virginia Laws 20-146.18

VIRGINIA LAWYERS – UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT STATUTES

Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18

§ 20-146.18. Inconvenient forum.

A. A court of this Commonwealth that has jurisdiction under this act to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon the motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.

B. Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this Commonwealth shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to present evidence and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;

  1.                     i.            The length of time the child has resided outside this Commonwealth;
  2.                   ii.            The distance between the court in this Commonwealth and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;
  3.                 iii.            The relative financial circumstances of the parties;
  4.                 iv.            Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;
  5.                   v.            The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;
  6.                 vi.            The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and
  7.               vii.            The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

C. If a court of this Commonwealth determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

D. A court of this Commonwealth may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this act if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:
Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 AMunicipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

VIRGINIA LAWYERS -INCONVENIENT FORUM

Virginia Statute

Jurisdiction

 

Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(A)

Inconvenient forum

A court of this Commonwealth that has jurisdiction under this act

  1. To make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum.
  2.  The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon the motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.

 

Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(B)

Inconvenient forum

Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this Commonwealth shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to present evidence and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

  1. Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;
  2. The length of time the child has resided outside this Commonwealth;
  3. The distance between the court in this Commonwealth and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;
  4. The relative financial circumstances of the parties;
  5. Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;
  6. The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;
  7. The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and
  8. The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

 

  

Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(C)

 

If a court of this Commonwealth determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

 

 Va. Code Ann. §20-146.18(D)

 

A court of this Commonwealth may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this act if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

 

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax Richmond Virginia Beach Loudoun Prince William Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Inconvenient Forum Cases In Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:
Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
Click to Chat

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.