Grandparent Custody Rights in Virginia

Grandparent custody rights are usually a very steamy topic in Virginia. This situation usually heats up the when the parents of the grandchild are not acting in the best interest of them. When this kind of situations happens, grandparents have the right to file the case for custody which is also known as a third-party petition for the custodial rights. Although, whoever is going to file the petition must mention the other additional items that best interest. The reasons for filing for the custody rights can be numerous; like the parents of grandchild become incapacitated, gets prison for any reason or they become unfit to keep the custody of their children.

Grandparent Custody Rights by Law

The Supreme Court of United States of America states the parents have the right in rearing the children, according to the constitution. It goes as “interests of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children… is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized” – Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 65 (2000)

Referring to above line, this right only belongs to parents, not grandparents. The question is, if the constitution says this clearly, then what situation leads to the custody rights for grandparents?
Virginia code of Law does allow the grandparents to claim the custodial rights over parents, but there are different circumstances for that.

Virginia Code Section 20-124.2 says; “In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court shall provide prompt adjudication, upon due consideration of all the facts, of custody and visitation arrangements, including support and maintenance for the children, prior to other considerations arising in the matter.”

This code section allows that if any person has legitimate reasons and looking to take care of the child, can file for the petition and go for the custodial rights. Although the code does allow the grandparent to have the custodial rights of their grandchildren but fighting a case against the parents of grandchildren can be extremely hard, and it is highly unlikely that the result will come out in favor of grandparents. If it is to take place, then there are going to be two situations in which grandparents are going to have the custody.

  1. Proving that the custody of grandchildren will be more beneficial and will be in the best interest of them.
  2. Denying the parental legal presumption.

Usually, blood relations file the cases with the legitimate reason and in the best interest of the child. What does it need? Convincing evidence for the custodial rights, that’s all, simply. Even though parents can visit after losing the case to grandparents, grandparents can also file a case for not letting them visit the children. For that, grandparents have to give solid proofs that the parents are going to bring serious harm to the children so they shouldn’t be allowed to meet with the children.

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