Virginia Family Law Index 2

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Links to Family Law and Related Statutes in Virginia

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Virginia Domestic Relations Laws (Title 20)


  • Rebecca D.

    I am engaged to a man who’s 6 year old son lives with us. The custody agreement he and his ex signed says that the father is the primary residential parent and that they agree to joint legal custody of their son. The father puts the son on the school bus bus in the mornings (7:30am), the mother gets the son off the bus after school (2:50pm) and keeps him until 4:30pm when she is to drop him off to his father. Then they swap weekends. If the child is sick or there is no school the child is to be dropped of to the mother by 7:00am and she will keep him until 4:30pm when she will drop him off to the father. If the child must leave school early due to school closing or sickness then the mother must get the child and keep him until 4:30pm. In the summer and on school breaks (when there is no school) then the father drops the child off to the mother by 7am and the mother keeps him until she drops the child off to the father at 4:30pm.
    So the child lives with the father, the father pays for everything. The mother does NOT pay for any of the bills. Father provides everything for the child, healthcare, a place to live, food, clothing, school functions, etc. The mother only pays to feed the child on her weekends and sometimes after school and occassionally she buys him an article of clothing or two. Mostly, she just complains about having to have her son with her so much.
    Here is the question:
    The father recently got a new job where he has to work until 5pm so the earliest he could get the child is about 5:30pm depending on where the job has him (he’s in construction) or he can make arrangements for me (his fiance) to be there for the drop off at 5pm (I work too and can’t back to the area until 5). He wanted to get the Custody Agreement changed to allow for this half an hour but the ex wife won’t do it because she is supposed to be available for her job at 5pm sometimes. His work has been fine with him leaving early until now. When school ends he has to make arrangements for his son so he can work until 5pm. Also, the mother has enrolled in community college for the summer and does not have any plans for daycare while she has the son (because she claims she can’t afford daycare). She is taking morning classes three days a week and night classes two days a week. Obviously, her daytime schedule is not the father’s concern (its her responsibility to provide daycare for the son while she is in class, right?) but he was trying to figure out what could be done with his son until either he or myself could get off work and pick him up. We were looking for a daycare provider where the ex wife could just drop off the son at 4:30pm and we could pick him up around 5 but knowing his ex, we knew she would begin dropping the son off earlier and earlier and we would be stuck with the extra fee the daycare person would charge for the extra time. So we decided to enroll him in the Parks & Rec day camp program. It is all day until 6pm. It is a $300 deposit as he will attend for 10 weeks and then $95 a week, two weeks in advance, after that, a total of $1250 plus the price of a t-shirt for the field trips. At first the ex wife was greatful she wouldn’t have to come up with daycare for the son and she offered to help out but didn’t say anything specific about how much. Now she is saying that she doesn’t have to help with the cost because its not her problem. What areour options? I assume we could take her to court for child support, right? She will only have her son for holidays (July 5th only), the very last week of summer before school starts again (the rec center is closed for the very last week of summer so they do not offer day camp that week), so its only 6 days, and then on her weekends. When school starts again the father will have to put his son in the after school program to hold him until 5 when I get back in the area after work. So even during the next school year, the mother will only have the son when there is no school, or he is sick and the past two years she has not proven to be very reliable with those things with the Custody Agreement written as it is now (lots of times she is off somewhere too drunk to drive back to her home to take care of her son or she just doesn’t answer her phone when he’s not going to school, i.e sickness, wheather related school closings, and some holidays) so we don’t rely on her to be there for those events instead we handle it between ourselves. Should we take her to court for sole custody with child support? As the custody agreement is written, do we have a leg to stand on? By the way, I have documented all of the times she has been a no-show for her part of the custody agreement, all the times she’s dropped him off early without asking first, all the times she has said she couldn’t handle him anymore or that she wanted to sign her rights over to the father or she has smelled of alcohol at 7am when the father dropped his son off.
    Does it matter that she lives in her parent’s three bedroom house with her mother, father, two sisters, her neice, her nephew and herself, and when the son goes to stay at her house he must sleep in an arm chair covered in plastic in the living room. (the adults at the house put the plastic on the chair so her son wouldn’t wet it in his sleep. He hasn’t wet the bed in over 2 years but they keep the plastic on there). What can we do?

  • Wilson

    My wife and I are seperated with legal signed and notorized papers, i want my girlfriend to stay the night with me or me stay with her while i have visitation on my son. i live in virginia, i have looked but i cant seem to find a law that states i have to have written permission for him to do so. Do i have to have written permission from her for this to happen?