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 be proper or necessary parties.
Virginia Code § 16.1-263 does not specify any particular type of cases for which the juvenile must be served. Therefore, even in child custody cases, a juvenile who is twelve (12) or more years in age will be served with a Summons, regardless of whether the parents deem it appropriate.
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The custody attorneys at Livesay & Myers, P.C. represent clients in custody cases in Manassas, Woodbridge, Fauquier, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.