Grandparents’ Rights To Raise Grandchildren In Virginia
- posted: Dec. 12, 2014
Unfortunately, divorce can be very unpleasant for all concerned, and sometimes child custody becomes a contentious issue. In some situations, grandparents may feel the need to request formal visitation rights, or even to seek sole or joint custody of their grandchildren.
According to an article in VA Lawyer Magazine, published by the Virginia Bar Association, Virginia Code Section 20.124.1 states that grandparents are considered among the persons with a “legitimate interest” in the welfare of a child. The statute goes on, however, to say that the parent-child relationship takes primacy, and that any “non-parent” has a higher standard of proof to show that they are worthy of consideration as a custodial guardian of a child. A grandparent must show “clear and convincing evidence” that they have the best interests of the child in mind.
Factors determining grandparents’ rights to visitation or custody
Virginia Code Section 20.124.3 provides the factors that judges may consider when deciding whether a grandparent may assume custody of a grandchild, including, but not limited to:
- The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs
- The age and physical and mental condition of each parent
- The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child
- The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members
- The role that each parent has played and will play in the future in the upbringing and care of the child
Virginia has a broad history of case law concerning grandparents’ rights in child custody cases, and an experienced attorney can be of tremendous help. Darrell M. Harding, Attorney at Law has been helping grandparents in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach assert their rights to maintain contact with their grandchildren for more than two decades.
Virginia Beach: 757-499-2600
"In every case Mr. Harding takes, he strives to provide his clients with the highest level of legal service. If you choose Darrell M. Harding Attorney At Law, PLC to represent you, you can expect to receive experienced legal guidance and be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect at all times."
Below are some comprehensive pamphlets created by our firm that clients may find helpful.
Ratings & Reviews
always very pleasant and professional, even in an adversary situations
Mr Thomas F. Harding is an Attorney that I admire and very knowledgeable, He started on my case in May of 2019 and still in progress and soon to be over, but when I first went to Mr Harding office I was so afraid to go forward with my divor...
Mr Thomas F. Harding is an Attorney that I admire and very knowledgeable, He started on my case in May of 2019 and still in progress and soon to be over, but when I first went to Mr Harding office I was so afraid to go forward with my divorce because my husband is a mean man and he told me that he wasn't going to let me go, nor was he going anywhere I thought my life was over until Mr Harding explain everything and I knew that he had my best interest at heart and his soft voice gave me reassurance that it will be alright and with his loving secretary Mrs Raquel Knight they work together and I was bless and I thank God for them and I have two new friends now and I will be dropping in to see them occasionally, God bless Mr Thomas F Harding for all that you do for others, A job well done!
Working with this firm was an excellent experience! The communication was great and I cannot believe how fast my divorce was!! These guys are highly recommended!!
Mr. Jeff Harding and his secretary made my process very simple. Very compassionate about helping others.
I would highly recommend. Mr. Harding is a very good attorney. I was very pleased with him and the outcome of my case.