Q: My wife wants to separate an take the kids 1100 miles away for a month and keeps demanding I agree to what she wants
What should I do ?
A: Unless there is a court order in place addressing custody, visitation and support, both parents have equal rights to, and responsibilities for, their minor children. After the parties have separated, a parent may file petitions for the determinations of child custody, visitation and child support in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, or incidental to a divorce filed in the Circuit Court.
Child custody interstate jurisdictional disputes are resolved in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The Act favors existing court orders and/or the home state of the child, which is the place the child has resided for the prior 6 months, or the greater portion thereof. In Virginia, a parent or other interested party must file a UCCJEA Affidavit with a request for custody or visitation.
Any parent facing a separation or an interstate custody dispute should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce or family law lawyer to discuss his or her options and the best course of action.
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