When a petition for child custody is filed with a court in Virginia, most parents usually assume that the minor child, who is the subject of the suit, does not need to know about the Court case. In most cases, parents attempt to shield the minor child from any exposure to the case. However, the law does not necessarily assist parents in this respect.
Pursuant to Virginia Code § 16.1-263, once a petition has been filed with a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Virginia, the Court is required to issue a summons to the following parties: (1) the juvenile, if the juvenile is twelve (12) or more years in age, (2) at least one (1) parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis, and (3) any other person(s) the Court deems to … Read More »
Virginia law allows for several different types of custodial arrangements. It is important for any party going through a custody case to understand the differences and similarities between these different types of custody.
Sole Custody. With “sole custody,” one parent assumes the major role in the physical, emotional, and moral development of the child. The custodial parent has primary authority to make all major decisions affecting the child, who lives primarily with this parent. Sole custody is defined under Virginia Code Section 20-124.1 as an arrangement whereby “one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child.”
Joint Custody. In a “joint custody” arrangement, both parents assume responsibility for the physical, moral, and emotional development of the child, and there are shared rights and responsibilities for making decisions that affect … Read More »
Parents who take it upon themselves to deny visitation rights without following the proper channels through the courts, do so in violation of Virginia law. Even in cases of non-payment of child support, it is simply not appropriate for a parent to arbitrarily deny court-ordered visitation.
“My Ex Won’t Let Me See My Child!”
A parent who refuses to allow another parent visitation that has been court-ordered risks being found in contempt of court. If the offending parent does not comply with the order, by allowing the court-ordered visitation, that parent could face jail time or a fine.
If one parent believes the other parent should not have visitation, for whatever reason, the proper way to handle the situation is through the courts. If it is an emergency situation, such as violence or abuse, the court can award an emergency order followed by … Read More »
“Can the Father or Mother of my child stop me moving out of the area?” is a familiar question heard by many family law attorneys. The answer is “yes, they can certainly try.” In fact, given the current trend of Virginia law making it harder on parents wishing to relocate with their children, the odds are good that the non-relocating parent might successfully block the child’s relocation. With more and more parents finding the need to move due to family connections, changes in employment and varying costs of living in different states across the county, custodial parent relocation has steadily become a hot topic in custody cases.
What is the Standard for Relocation in Virginia? Virginia law does not provide a bright-line rule for custody relocation cases; meaning, one cannot merely turn to the Virginia Code for a simple “yes” … Read More »