Virginia Child Custody Guidlines and Links


Factors Considered When Determining the Best Interest of the Child for Child Custody in Virginia

In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, the court shall consider the following:

1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs;

2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;

3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;

4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;

5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;

6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;

7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;

8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;

9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and

10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

The judge shall communicate to the parties the basis of the decision either orally or in writing.

Source:  20-124.3. Best interests of the child; visitation. Code Of Virginia

Relevant Sections of the Virginia Code Regarding Child Custody

16.1-278.15. Custody or visitation, child or spousal support generally.

20-124.2. Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements.

20-146.1. Definitions.

20-146.3. Application to Indian tribes.

20-146.4. International application.

20-146.15. Temporary emergency jurisdiction.

20-146.24. Duty to enforce.

20-146.25. Temporary visitation.

20-146.26. Registration of child custody determination.

20-146.27. Enforcement of registered determination.

20-146.29. Expedited enforcement of child custody; determination.

20-146.31. Hearing and order.

20-146.32. Ex parte order to take physical custody of child.

20-146.34. Recognition and enforcement.

20-146.35. Appeals.

63.2-1230. Placement of children by parent or guardian.

63.2-1525. Prima facie evidence for removal of child custody.

Source: Code Of Virginia

Links and Information on Child Custody in Virginia

Child Custody and Support – Frequently Asked Questions – Virginia Department of Social Services

Visitation: Factors to Consider – Virginia’s Judicial System

Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia’s Court System – Family Court: How Do I Obtain Custody Of A Child?

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