How do I file for custody of my child in Virginia?

In order to file for custody, you must first file a petition for custody with the Court Services Unit in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of your county. A general outline of a petition can be found here, but you must include in the petition facts that will factor into the judge’s decision.

How do I get sole legal custody in Virginia?

Full custody, or sole custody, is generally only awarded when one parent presents an overwhelming case in their favor, and it is in the best interest of the child. In addition to parents, anyone with a “legitimate interest” in the child may also file to get full custody in Virginia.

What does legal custody mean in Virginia?

In Virginia, there are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to make decisions for your children, including major decisions such as healthcare, education, and religious upbringing. Physical custody is where the children live.

Who has custody of a child in Virginia?

A parent may have sole custody of a child or share joint custody between both parents. With sole legal custody, one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child. Sole physical custody means the child resides with the custodial parent.

What makes a parent unfit in VA?

The legal definition of an unfit parent is when the parent through their conduct fails to provide proper guidance, care, or support. Also, if there is abuse, neglect, or substance abuse issues, that parent will be deemed unfit.

What makes a parent unfit in Virginia?

An unfit parent is one who is unable to provide proper care, guidance, and support to their child. They most likely won’t be granted custody by the court if the case is still active.

Is child support mandatory in VA?

Under the Code of Virginia (VA Code 20-61), paying child support is a legal obligation. In Virginia, the general rule is that there is never a situation where a parent is not liable for some sort of child support.

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