What concerns most children are often the predominant factor used while considering custody controversy. Normally, the involvement of both parents in a child’s life is highly supported by family courts in Virginia. To be able to understand Sole Custody, we must have a look at the two forms of custodies in this state.
In Virginia, the legal responsibility for the care and control of a child/teenager below the age of 18 is defined as custody. If no court order is placed, equal physical rights are shared between both parents to their child, regardless of whether they are married or not.
A parent with legal care can take over decisions to do with the youngster’s medical care, schooling, and religious upbringing.
This is where the child resides physically, or where the minor currently lives.
Moreover, this concerns the everyday upbringing of the minor. Sole physical care means that the minor only lives with one caretaker, the custodial parent.
To obtain sole care of your child, the court is required to give you both legal and physical care. Fortunately, if a parent is awarded sole care, this dominates their ability in making major decisions concerning their minor’s life. Even so, the noncustodial is often allowed visitation rights. The judiciary can also decide whether the meetings must be supervised, as well as when and where the visits take place. However, if the noncustodial parents are somehow unfit of parenting or in any manner abusive, this may result in the complete abandonment of their parental rights.
The procedure of obtaining Sole Custody
If there is no placement in court order for guardianship, a Petition for guardianship with the judiciary services unit of Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, must be filed. Commonly, the parent will file in the county court where they, along with their child will reside. In the meanwhile, if a court order is already set in place, the parent must file a Motion to Amend or Review Order in the same court that issued the initial guardianship order.
In both conditions, the other party must be served with the appropriate paperwork required. The court will appoint an initial hearing, which could cause an order of mandatory mediation, or an order to schedule a lawyer for your child, temporary care orders, or physiological evaluation of the parties.
Following the hearing, if no custody agreement is reached by both parties, a trial on the motion/petition request is very likely to take place a couple of months (one to three) after the initial hearing. Similar to any trial, a judge will weigh a list of factors in deciding the guardianship case. Given the following circumstances, factors including the mental condition of both parents, the child’s personal needs, any history of abuse throughout the child’s life are reviewed. Different factors are weighed within older children. These involve alcohol or drug problems, criminal convictions and any violations of previous court orders.
As always, when reaching decisions on this matter and all other guardianship issues, the court will prioritize the best interests of the child. If you are granted sole care, the court maintains the capability to restrict your ability to leave Virginia and relocate in other states, specifically if the other parent objects and succeeds in convincing the court that such relocations may interfere with their parenting time, or visitations.