Q: I have sole legal and physical custody, petition for amendment but I'm not recognized as respondent. How can this be ?
I am a paternal great grandmother with custody of my great grandson who has lived with me since birth and will be 14 this October and has never lived with his mother who has petitioned to amend custody and my grandson, the father is currently incarcerated and has been provided a GAL. Neither has custody but filings list mother as petitioner and father as respondent when it has been adjudicated that I have sole legal and physical custody. It appears the mother has led the court to believe my grandson , who doesn't have a permanent address and uses my address for his mail, had custody and the child was left in my care which is not true.
In Virginia, a motion to modify or amend must reference the existing order and recite its relevant provisions. If a third party has custody or visitation, that person is a necessary party to the proceeding, and must be served with notice. In order to prevail, a person seeking to modify an existing custody or visitation order must first demonstrate a material change in circumstances justifying a change in custody or visitation, and then must demonstrate that the child's best interests would be served by the proposed change in custody or visitation.
Anyone facing a motion to amend custody or visitation should consult with an experienced Virginia family law lawyer.
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