Find the right lawyer now

Child Custody Decisions in Virginia

Find a Local Family Lawyer near You

What Considerations do Virginia Courts Make Regarding Child Custody Orders?

As with other states, Virginia courts give primary attention to the best interests of the child rather than an individual parent when awarding custody. The court may award either joint or sole custody depending on the needs of the child. However, unlike many other states, Virginia custody law does not create a presumption in favor of either parent.

What factors play a role in determining a custody arrangement?

When issuing a custody order, the factors which a Virginia court may consider include, but are not limited to:

  • The basic background of the child such as their age as well as mental and physical disposition
  • Considerations regarding the child’s developmental needs, which often change over time
  • Each parent’s existing relationship with the child, focusing especially on their positive contributions to the child’s welfare and happiness
  • The parent’s willingness to encourage and facilitate ongoing contact between the child and their non-custodial parent
  • Any previous instances and history of child abuse or neglect
  • The preferences or decisions of the child, if the court finds that they are of a reasonable age to make competent and well-informed choices

What else should I know about Virginia child custody laws?

The state of Virginia encourages parents to share in child-rearing responsibilities. Except in situations where the child’s safety is in question, the parents are expected to cooperate with one another and encourage continuous contact between all parties. This means that the parents should resolve past and future conflicts when possible, in order to preserve the best interests of the child.

Do I need Virginia Lawyer for my Child Custody claim in?

Child custody decisions can be complex and the process can often cover a long period of time. For this reason it is to your advantage to secure the services of a lawyer, especially if custody will be heavily disputed. Furthermore, a competent attorney can keep you updated with any changes in laws and adjustments in the status of the custody claim.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 05-01-2017 04:44 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.