Custody and visitation refer to determinations of which parent the children live with and the conditions for the children’s visitation with the non-custodial parent. The primary consideration in all custody and visitation decision-making is “the best interest of the children”. There is a huge body of case law wherein the courts have interpreted the various statutes and considered other factors applicable to a child custody for relocating parent. If a parent is facing an initial custody and visitation determination or a petition for modification of a prior decree then it is a good idea to obtain a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. The family law attorney can guide the parent through the process and explain how all of the factors and case law may apply to his or her particular facts and circumstances.
The family law attorneys handle numerous custody cases for relocating parent involving all manner of issues ranging from parental fitness and psychological issues to children with special needs and complex medical histories. Generally, jurisdiction in a child custody and visitation case is in the court having authority in the district wherein the child primarily resides or in the court wherein the last custody and visitation order was entered. Matters of jurisdiction can become complicated when the parents and/or children have moved recently or after entry of a prior custody and visitation order.
Both the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts and the Circuit Courts have jurisdiction to hear child custody and visitation cases. Special rules apply as to the primacy of the courts when there are dual proceedings. The complexity of jurisdictional rules is only one of the many reasons you should seek advice and representation from an experienced family law attorney or child custody and visitation lawyer if you are facing court proceedings of this type.
Child custody and visitation presents some of the most difficult and emotionally challenging experiences a family may ever face. These cases are also some of the most nuanced and complex matters any attorney may handle. The value of an experienced family law attorney as your advocate cannot be overstated. A child custody and visitation order is never final and is always subject to revision or modification by a court to meet the best interests of the children. The law does not favor either the mother or father. Instead, the court is required to consider very specific factors and then to balance those factors when determining the children’s best interests. While grandparents and others may seek custody, there is a presumption in favor of the natural parents. What follows is a basic overview of the child custody and visitation decision-making process in Virginia courts.
If you are facing a volatile, hostile or contested custody issue then it is highly recommended that you obtain legal representation by an experienced family law attorney or child custody and visitation lawyer. This is especially important if the other parent is represented by an attorney. We are pleased to prosecute your case as per the legal code developed by Virginia i.e. § 20-124.5 for relocating parent for the child custody.