The Child Custody and Support Process in Virginia

Whether from Divorce, Separation, or the birth of a new child, all parents ought to have a custody and visitation order in place if they do not live together.  This not only protects the parent's interests, but protects the best interests of the child(ren), as well.  Hopefully the parents can agree to how this arangement will look and if they do, an attorney can have the agreement put into a court order for them.

If the parties cannot agree, then Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts will set a trial date and appoint a Guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child(ren).  This Guardian ad litem is a licensed Virginia Lawyer who's job is to investigate the situation and inform the court on what they recommend as being in the child(ren)'s best interests.

After an order is in place, in order to get a future modification of custody, visitation, or support, there must be a change in circumstances from entry of the last order.  This could look like a change in jobs, a change in work schedules, or a change in the child.  Each case is unique and whether or not there has been a change in circumstances will depend on your particular case's facts.  If you feel that there has been a change in circumstances in your child's situation that requires a change in custody and/or visitation or you feel that there has been a financial change that requires a change in the amount of support you are paying or receiving, then you should to talk to a licensed Virginia lawyer to determine and protect your rights and interests.