VIRGINIA GRANDPARENTS & CHILD CUSTODY RIGHTS, GRANDPARENTS & VISITATION RIGHTS & GRANDPARENTS RIGHTS IN VIRGINIA
Virginia Family Law Attorneys Helping Grandparents Exercise Their Rights
Frequently, the Virginia grandparents’ rights attorneys of the SRIS Law Group are contacted by grandparents who are either seeking custody of their grandchildren, seeking visitation with their grandchildren or want to know what rights they have as grandparents in regards to their grandchildren in Virginia.
The honest answer is that it is a fact specific question in Virginia.
What we mean by this is that the law does allow for grandparents to obtain custody of their grandchild or grandchildren. The law also allows grandparents to have visitation with their grandchildren. However, the application of these in Virginia is truly fact specific.
The SRIS Law Group has attorneys that assist grandparents with custody & visitation rights issues in Virginia. Grandparents can contact us on line or call us at 888-437-7747
The following are two of the most commonly asked questions by grandparents seeking custody or visitation rights.
Do we as grandparents have visitation rights in Virginia?
Yes, more often than not. Grandparents do have visitation rights in most cases. However, that visitation right is limited by the terms and conditions of the court order if the grandparent wants to take the custodial parent(s) to court. The law in Virginia allows grandparents to join a visitation petition filed by the noncustodial parent or even file an independent petition for the purpose of obtaining a court order for visitation with their grandchildren.
The primary hurdle that a grandparent or grandparents will have to clear is proving that harm will occur to the grandchild or grandchildren in the absence of visitation by the grandparents. Virginia all recognized the presumption that parents have a fundamental right as to the care, custody and management of their child.
Only a compelling interest would be sufficient to allow a court to dictate to a parent that the grandparent has to be able to visit with the grandchild. This is not an easy hurdle to clear because the grandparent has to prove that harm will result to the child’s health and welfare should the court not order the parents to allow visitation with the grandparent.
The Virginia family law attorneys of the SRIS Law Group always caution grandparents that this is not an easy hurdle to clear, even though our Virginia family law attorneys have helped numerous grandparents obtain visitation rights to visit with their grandchildren.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE LAWS IN VIRGINIA:
- § 20-124.4. Mediation.
In any appropriate case the court shall refer the parents or persons with a legitimate interest to a dispute resolution evaluation session to be conducted by a mediator certified pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the Judicial Council at no cost and in accordance with the procedures set out in Chapter 20.2 (§ 8.01-576.4 et seq.) of Title 8.01. In assessing the appropriateness of a referral, the court shall ascertain upon motion of a party whether there is a history of family abuse. If an agreement is not reached on any issue through further mediation as agreed to by the parties, prior to the return date set by the court pursuant to § 8.01-576.5, the court shall proceed with a hearing on any unresolved issue, unless a continuance has been granted by the court. The fee of a mediator appointed in any custody, support or visitation case shall be $100 per appointment and shall be paid by the Commonwealth from the funds appropriated for payment of appointments made pursuant to subsection B of § 16.1-267.
- § 20-124.2:1. In camera interviews of child; record
In any proceeding in a court of record to determine custody or visitation, when the court conducts an in camera interview of a minor child whose custody or visitation is at issue without the presence of the parties or their counsel, a record of the interview shall be prepared, unless the parties otherwise agree. The record of the interview shall be made a part of the record in the case unless a decision is made by the court that doing so would endanger the safety of the child. The cost of creating the record shall be taxed as costs to the parties to the proceeding.