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Virginia Child Custody Laws

Child custody laws are very similar from state to state. This is mainly due to the adoption of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which helps enforcement efforts across state lines. Virginia child custody laws allow for joint custody and grandparent visitation rights, while the court process gives consideration to the child's own wishes before determining custody.

Child custody, visitation, and child support issues are decided in Virginia's Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts. This article provides a brief overview of child custody laws in the state of Virginia.

Child Custody Laws in Virginia: At a Glance

This is a piece of model legislation that has been adopted by nearly every state in the U.S., including Virginia. Essentially, the law requires state officials to recognize and help enforce child custody orders from other states. These laws were passed in order to prevent noncustodial parents from abducting their children across state lines.

The basics of Virginia child custody laws are highlighted in the box below. See FindLaw's Child Custody section, including How Child Custody Decisions are Made, to learn more.

Code Section

§ 20-124.1 et seq. of the Virginia Code

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, § 20-124.2(b)

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 20-124.2(b)(2)  

Child's Own Wishes Considered?


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Virginia Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Have More Questions About Virginia Child Custody Laws? Ask an Attorney

Filing for custody of your child or answering such a claim can be emotionally draining. It's best to let a legal professional handle these matters. If you have additional questions or would like to have legal representation for your custody case in Virginia, you should contact an experienced child custody lawyer near you today.

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