Virginia Guide to Child Custody and Parenting Time

Where to begin:

Virginia child custody and parenting time overview
Answers to your questions about custody and parenting time in Virginia. How are they decided? How long does the process take? Which court do I use? Do I need a lawyer?

Custody for divorcing parents in Virginia
How the types of divorce affect custody, and how to decide which court to file in. Here's what divorcing parents need to know about child custody.

Virginia parenting time schedule guidelines (visitation)
Follow these guidelines to create your required parenting time schedule. Learn about different types of Virginia parenting time, common visitation schedules and more.

Virginia parenting plan and custody agreement guidelines
Follow these guidelines to make a highly-recommended parenting plan that helps you avoid returning to court. See specific provisions recommended by legal professionals.

Virginia child support calculator
Instantly determine your child support by entering your incomes, parenting time and number of children. See how different parenting times affect the total.

Going to court:

Virginia custody process in Circuit Court (divorce court): 8 steps
The steps to child custody and divorce in Circuit Court: establishing separation, filing a case, judicial settlement conferences and more.

Virginia custody process in J&DR Court: 6 steps
The steps to getting child custody in Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court: filing a case, initial hearings, discovery and more.

Filing for child custody in Virginia: 4 steps
Follow these steps to start your Virginia custody case. Learn what court to file in, what forms you need and how to serve papers.

Custody investigations and evaluations in Virginia
An investigation or evaluation can sway the outcome of your case. Find out the differences, whether you should hire your own investigator or evaluator, and more.

Virginia child custody hearings & trials: What to expect
Learn about the hearings your custody case might require and how to prepare for a trial in Circuit Court or J&DR Court.

Staying out of court:

Child custody mediation in Virginia
If you enter mediation ready, you're more likely to leave with an agreement. Understand mediation so you get the best outcome for your children.

How to settle child custody in Virginia: 3 steps
Settling is the fastest, least expensive way to resolve custody and parenting time. Follow these steps to settle, either when you open a case or afterward.

More about Virginia custody:

Custody orders in Virginia: Types, modification, enforcement
Learn about the types of orders the courts can issue and how to modify and enforce them. Plus, how to be sure you're following your court orders correctly.

Special circumstances in Virginia child custody
Learn about uncommon custody arrangements, supervised visitation, undocumented parents and other situations that affect the custody process.

Virginia custody resources and support
Resources for representing yourself and finding legal assistance. Links to forms, step-by-step guides and Virginia family lawyers.

Explore examples of common schedules

Explore common schedules

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Get an accurate child support order

Child support is based on parenting time or overnights in most jurisdictions. Calculate time instead of estimating.

Succeed by negotiating

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