To file for custody in Virginia, you must follow these 10 steps:
Step 1 – You must prove that you meet the requirements of the Virginia residency laws. Also, the child must have lived in Virginia for at least 6 months before you can file for custody, so you must provide the state and county in which the child has lived for the next 6 months. Also, if you file your custody petition in the wrong state, unless the other party objects, you can still stay there.
Step 2: You must contact and make an appointment to get the custody forms at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in your Virginia county. Also, if you are requesting separation, you must contact the Circuit Court to have the forms available to you.
Step 3: You must prepare your custody appeal using accentuating factors (such as a child’s health and age, relationship between siblings and relatives, age of parents, health and support, child’s preference among many others) used to determine what It’s better for the kid because of Virginia. Also, in a domestic violence case, the court will likely deviate from a shared custody plan along with restricting contact with the abusive parent. Sometimes, in extreme cases, contact with the abusive parent is completely restricted and sole custody is given to the non-abusive parent.
Step 4: The Uniform Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act of Children of Virginia requires the completion of your document that provides all necessary information, such as addresses of where the child lived, primary caregivers, and any court cases related to the child.
Step 5 – You must serve a summons that informs the other party of the time limit to respond to the other party’s request.
Step 6 – If you do not retain an attorney, you must sign all legal documents in the presence of a judicial officer.
Step 7 – You then have to file these documents with the Circuit Court or the J&DR Court. You must file 3 copies of the documents with the clerk (1 for you, 1 for the other party, and 1 for the court)
Step 8: after filing the documents, you must pay all the fees, if you cannot pay them, you can request a court confirmation for Form DC-606 supporting the filing request without paying the filing fee.
Step 9 – You must have all the documents served to the other party by a process server or by a police officer. Also, if the other party lives outside of Virginia, you can have them serve you personally or a court clerk can mail the documents.
Step 10: Finally you have to go to court to present a document confirming that the other party has been served.
After these 10 steps, your custody claim will be heard within a few weeks. In addition, the courts will issue mandatory 4-hour parenting classes for all contesting parties in the case. Likewise, if you don’t attend these classes, your chances of winning custody will be pretty low. After these classes, the court will issue the date for a new hearing, this usually takes several months. Additionally, for the representation of children, the judge will also issue a special attorney for the child called a Guardian Ad Litem. In addition, the judge will also order Social Services to conduct home studies and will also appoint a CASA Worker to conduct any necessary investigations.
If you need a Virginia child custody attorney to help you with your Virginia child custody case, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia child custody attorneys can help. C