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Virginia Child Custody Questions & Answers
Q: One parents right get terminated the other gets full custody can the one parent allow the other to see kids

When the parent that's has custody never lets the one that don't see them unsupervised

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 5, 2023

If one parent's rights have been terminated, legally they would not have any inherent rights to visitation or custody of the children. The parent with full custody has the discretion to allow the other parent to see the children, but this is a personal choice and not a legal obligation. Should... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Constitutional Law and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I made an offer of custody with 5 major points can the responder only act on one? Without accepting all other points
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 5, 2023

In custody negotiations, if you propose an agreement with multiple points, the other party is not obligated to accept all terms as presented. They may choose to agree to some points while rejecting or wishing to negotiate others. Each point can be independently considered and negotiated. It's... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: If the judge says he's not going to hear a case for modification only the case for contempt then makes a ruling on both

Is that legal

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Oct 27, 2023

Judges have a great deal of discretion in how they run their courtroom. Some judges even change their minds during the course of a proceeding. If a litigant does not like how a judge rules in a particular case, the litigant can either object with reasons to create a record for appeal, if the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: My husband and I have raised my grandson since birth. He is now 4.5 years old. He had occasional visits with my son and

his wife. My son and his wife were separated, and she said she would file for divorce. My son recently died, and his estranged wife took our grandson and said we would not see him again. While caring for him, we never received nor asked for support from his parents. He attended school the 2022-2023... View More

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Jun 7, 2023

A grandparent who has stood in the position of a parent to a minor child, in loco parentis in Latin, is an appropriate custodian for that child and can be awarded custody and/or visitation of the child. A grandparent is recognized as a "person with a legitimate interest" who can file for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: When is a guardian at litem assigned to a custody case? Can I do mediation outside of court without a GAL?

Paternity has not yet been established but if he is found to be the father, he has also filed for custody and visitation. He has stated that he would like to do mediation. I would like to do mediation but outside of court with the other parent and a lawyer. Would a GAL be appointed in this... View More

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Mar 5, 2023

In a legal proceeding involving custody and/or visitation, a guardian ad litem can be appointed by the court to represent the interests of the child in the event that the parents do not adequately represent the interests of the child. This almost always occurs when there are allegations of abuse... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: We share joint legal and physical custody and have “visitation as agreed upon by both parties”, how is that enforced?

My 15 year old no longer wants to visit every other week related to various changes at the home and her feeling like she’s never heard. What’s my best next move?

Can a show cause be enforced against me since there is no concrete schedule in place?

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Feb 6, 2023

That reads just like the kind of agreement reached in mediation - it is vague enough that both parties can interpret it to their own satisfaction. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to enforce it. Far better is to have a fixed schedule from which the parties can deviate if they so... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: If my teen decided she no longer wants to go to her father's, do I have to make her?

I have sole custody and her father has a visitation order. She is 14 and we live in the state of Virginia.

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Nov 22, 2022

Unjustifiably withholding visitation can result in a change of primary physical custody of a child. A custodial parent must do everything within his or her power and authority to allow visitation to occur, absent some credible evidence of family abuse which would justify a modification of a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: What age does Virginia allow children to make decisions on whether or not they want to see their parents ?

I am thier grandmother and have had custody for nearly 9 years. They have been through a lot mentally and emotionally . Thier mother has seen them once in like 7 years and has not kept contact. The kids are now 11 yrs old and 13 years old. Neither of the kids wants anything to do with her and I do... View More

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Oct 19, 2022

There is no specific age at which a child can express a custody or visitation preference. The Code of Virginia allows such a reasonable preference if the child is of "reasonable intelligence, understanding, age, and experience to express such a preference." When allowed to express a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: If I was issued Emergency protective order in virginia and she was granted the box that is marked granting her the hous

If she was granted the house in an emergency protective order it says her name. The family of household member is granted possession of the exclusion of the respondent however no such Grant of possession shall affect title To any real or personal pro Property. If she is out of the state ono... View More

Faraji A. Rosenthall
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Faraji A. Rosenthall
answered on May 28, 2023

You should have a lawyer look at the actual protective order to be certain. That much said, if it gives her sole possession of the house, then you would be prohibited from going there - even if she is at work, or on vacation, or for any reason.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
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... View More

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Sep 2, 2022

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... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Virginia on
Q: Can my husband marry a second wife overseas? We are married in Islam as well which he’s allowed to marry 4 wives

But at the same time we are legally married in the us

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Aug 11, 2022

The U.S. Constitution requires each of the 50 states to give full faith and credit to the valid acts of its sister states. There is no such requirement for the actions of other countries, in the absence of a treaty. Instead, the concept of comity controls. Comity allows a state to recognize the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: VA- Joint custody -required to discuss decisions and parents disagree on child getting driver's permit.

Custody papers only say we must discuss important decisions but does not specify what constitutes important and what happens when we don't agree.

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on May 4, 2022

A decision to allow a child to get a learner's permit involves legal custody. For true joint legal custody, there would be a greater burden than simply imposing an obligation to discuss decisions: the parties would have to agree on legal decisions concerning the child. Sometimes, judges... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: How do I find a psych evaluator to provide expert testimony in court that my ex-wife is alienating me from my kids?

I'm in Northern VA, it's been a challenge to find someone who can competently evaluate parental alienation.

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Apr 11, 2022

That is called a custody evaluation. Child psychologists who offer those usually advertise themselves as custody evaluators and expert witnesses. In the Richmond area, there a few who do most of them. When I have called some that are not available, they will usually recommend others who might be... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Reference Custody and Visitation. I went to court on December 14, 2021, when does a custody order go into effect?

Our original order went into effect June 2020, and advised drop offs and pick ups are to occur at my parents place. My amendment requests a new location, among 12 other changes. The Guardian Ad Litem suggested a location, and now my ex-husband files paperwork every time I do not do exchanges at the... View More

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun
answered on Jan 10, 2022

This type of confusion happens frequently after a hearing. Did you have an attorney? If so, please ask the attorney who has been representing you for clarity. Often someone has asked the judge when the order takes effect. If no date is specified, the usual default is that once a judge has made... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: In 50/50 custody, can mother refuse to allow children to be on fathers employer health insurance?

In the midst of divorce/custody case. Mother elected to not put children on her employer provided health insurance and instead has them on Medicaid. I am now receiving benefits through my employer and as of 01/01/2022 have enrolled myself and two children in this health care plan. Can mother refuse... View More

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun
answered on Jan 4, 2022

Generally speaking, a court will prefer that a child has high-quality insurance if the parents can afford it. For that reason, health insurance premium payments for children are taken into consideration when calculating child support.

You don't mention whether there is a court order...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Can I get a woman who tried to run my 8 year old and me off the road listed as an excluded adult on the visitation order

This a a woman who stalked me and my child for years and made threats against me. My ex husband was abusive and has a history of domestic violence. He has been arrested for DMV. He will use this woman and other circumstances to put my son in danger. The woman tried to run my child and me off the... View More

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun
answered on Dec 14, 2021

Generally speaking, you may be able to get a protective order for stalking, but the protective order would have to include your child to prevent her from being present during visitation.

If you don't have enough evidence for a protective order, you may be able to get an order that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Can grandparents who have never had a relationship with their grandchild of a single parent get awarded visitation?

I cut off all contact with my toxic and mentally ill parents several years ago, but they have continued to stalk me. I am concerned about them possibly suing for visitation once they find out they have a grandchild.

What are the chances that the family court would force me to allow them to... View More

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Dec 13, 2021

In Virginia, grandparents have no custody and visitation rights by virtue of the familial relationship. Grandparents are among the class of interested persons who can ask for a custody or visitation determination, but will not obtain any rights against the wishes of a biological parent who has not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: Petitioner of no-contact order had me violated for text messages I sent her, but she texted me too before and after then

The petitioner alerted the court that I had sent her text messages. This was a violation of a no-contact protective order AND a no contact condition of a sentence that included 12 months of suspended time. However, she also sent text messages and engaged in several lengthy text conversations with... View More

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Nov 20, 2021

Sounds like you're definitely in violation. Hire a lawyer to help minimize what they do.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Do I have to let my 2 year old and 3 year old go back to my husband and his girlfriend's home after she failed cps drug

Test. I have schedule an appointment to file for custody on October 7th. There is no custody agreement between is at this point.

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Oct 1, 2021

In the absence of a court order or written agreement, both parents have equal rights to, and responsibilities for, their minor children. You question does not address how CPS became involved with your husband's girlfriend, why she was subject to testing, what drugs were involved, where the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If I had a marital settlement agreement in Florida is it possible to have custody modified in Va

Ex filed registration in VA and immediately turned into modification of custody and JD&R proceeded without proper jurisdiction. Is that possible?

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Sep 24, 2021

A party to a court order may domesticate or register that order in Virginia if the Virginia court can exercise jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. Notice of the proposed domestication or registration is served on the other party so he or she could contest... View More

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