Do you need to know the steps you must take when you are going to file for child custody in VA? Well, it can be very stressful. To get it done smoothly, find out what needs to be done.
These are the most important steps for a parent to file for custody of their child:
As a parent, you need to prove that you meet the requirements for Virginia’s residency laws. Also, the child needs to be in Virginia for at least 6 consecutive months prior to the parent applying for custody. Therefore, you can file for custody in the county the minor has lived in for the last 6 months. If you file for custody in a different county, unless the other parent is against it, the case can proceed in the other county.
You have to make an appointment and contact the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Virginia County to get the custody forms. If you are filing for divorce then you need to contact the Circuit Court for the forms.
You have to organize the custody filing by highlighting different pre-requisites such as support, health and age, child’s health and age, the child’s preference and any sibling and extended family relationship etc. All these factors will be used to determine what is best for the child. In the case of domestic violence, the court will generally not order joint custody in order to limit contact with the abusive parent.
The UCCJEA or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act requires you to complete this document which provides all the needed information such as primary custodians, any court cases involving the child and the past addresses of the child.
You need to give notice to the other parent about the time limit to reply to the petition.
If you don’t have an attorney to represent you, you have to sign all the legal documents in the presence of a court clerk.
Then you have to file the said documents at either the J&DR Court or the Circuit Court. You will need to present 3 copies of the documents to the official.
Soon after applying the documents, you will need to pay all the associated charges. However, if you do not have the funds to pay for the filing fees, then proceed without paying by requesting a DC-606 court form.
You have to serve all the documents to the other parent either through a law enforcement officer or by a process server. If the other parent resides outside of Virginia, you can have the court clerk mail the documents or have them delivered personally.
After all these steps are done, you will have to go to court in order to file a certificate that affirm that the other parent has been served.
Mr. Sris has been helping clients file for child custody in Virginia for over 20 years. B