Virginia Family Court Laws
If the parents do not agree on a name change, the decision is taken to court. The judge decides what is in the best interests of the child. A unilateral order refers to a court order made at the request of one of the parties without hearing the other party. Typically, unilateral orders are issued in extreme situations and are temporary until the court can hold a hearing to allow both parties to appeal to the court. The custody status when a child`s parents separate is unclear until a court makes a custody decision. A «pendente lite» (temporary) custody and access order can be used to resolve custody and access issues until the parties can fully litigate or settle their case. For more information, see Temporary Custody and Visitation Orders in Virginia. Virginia laws and regulations regarding custody decisions, rules, and procedures; This includes information about types of custody, the availability of grandparent access, and links to additional custody information. In Virginia, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem in proceedings challenging custody and access of a child.
A guardian is a lawyer appointed to represent the interests of the child. The change in circumstances can be positive or negative. A positive change could be remarrying a parent or getting a new job with a higher salary or a more flexible work schedule. A negative change could be a child developing behavioural problems, a parent struggling with drug addiction, or a criminal conviction from a parent. As noted earlier, a parent`s refusal to grant them court-ordered access may also constitute a significant change in circumstances that allows for a change of custody. If the court finds that circumstances have changed significantly, it considers the best interests of the children using the factors listed in Virginia Code Sections 20-124.3. These are the same factors that were considered at the initial custody hearing and include the age of the children; the health, needs and relationship that each child has with each parent; and, for each child old enough, the child`s preference for custody. If there is no custody agreement, the court will issue a decision after a formal hearing at which both parties are allowed to present witness statements and evidence. One. In any case concerning the custody or visitation of minor children, whether before a district or district court, the court shall decide without delay on custody and access arrangements, including the maintenance and maintenance of the children, with due regard to all the facts, before any other considerations arise in the matter. The court may institute proceedings pending under Articles 20 to 103.
Procedures for determining custody and access arrangements should respect the dignity and resources of family members to the extent possible and in accordance with the objectives of justice. Mediation can be used as an alternative to litigation. Where mediation is used in custody and access, objectives may include developing a proposal that addresses the child`s housing plan and custody arrangements, as well as how disputes between parents will be dealt with in the future. Family law is a fairly broad area of practice that includes marriage, divorce, custody, adoption, paternity and other issues related to family structure. Family law also deals with controversial issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage, as well as criminal issues such as domestic violence and child abuse. Virginia`s family laws are created and revised by the actions of legislators and courts, as in other states. For example, marriage annulment and prohibition laws prohibit same-sex marriage, in addition to blood relatives and people with previous unresolved marriages. Starting with separation and ending with court orders, it takes time to conclude a divorce. Therefore, pending orders, also known as temporary orders, are needed to provide preliminary support. For example, these orders may award spousal support, child support, use of the marital home, custody and temporary visits.
B1. In any matter or proceeding involving the custody or access of a child in relation to a parent, the court may, at its discretion, use the term «parental leave» as a synonym for the term «access». If the parties cannot agree on custody of their children, they may be invited to participate in mediation or they may opt for mediation. If the parties fail to reach an agreement and/or mediation fails, the court issues a custody order after a formal hearing, at which both parties are allowed to present statements and evidence. Child maintenance is determined on the basis of a specific formula that takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children, the maintenance paid by one of the parents for a child from another marriage, work-related childcare expenses, health insurance costs for children and the number of days that the non-custodial parent has with the children. The child support policy is likely to be correct, but the court is free to increase or decrease the amount of child support in certain circumstances. A parent who refuses to allow another parent to visit, who has been ordered by the court, risks being found in contempt of court, exposing them to imprisonment or a fine. Refusal of access by one custodial parent may also result in the transfer of custody to the other parent.
Yes. Under Virginia law, «persons with a legitimate interest» can apply for custody and access. These include grandparents, in-laws, former in-laws, blood relatives, and family members. B. In determining custody, the court gives priority to the best interests of the child. The court will consider and may award legal custody, joint physical custody or sole custody and there is no presumption in favour of any form of custody.