Virginia Child Custody Resources and Support

Don't go through the child custody process alone. Even if you can't afford a lawyer, there are places you can turn for support.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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In-depth guides

Use the following guides to help you and your family through the various aspects of custody and parenting time.

Self-help resources

If you're going through the custody process without a lawyer (pro se), check out the Virginia Judicial System's self-help website. It has links to court forms, a directory of mediators and more.

To further prepare for your case, review the Virginia Legal Aid website, which offers information on family law, including domestic violence. If you're seeking a no-fault divorce, you can use their interactive Do-It-Yourself Divorce tool to create your paperwork for filing a case.

Divorcing parents can also get forms and basic information from the clerk at their Circuit Court.

Self-represented parents who handle custody in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (J&DR) must contact their Court Services Unit to obtain and submit paperwork. Court Service Unit staff explain the court process, but they can't offer legal advice.

Free/low-cost legal advice or representation

See Virginia's Access to Justice Commission for additional information beyond what's below.

Legal aid offices

Legal aid services provide free or low-cost legal representation to people with low incomes. Many legal aid lawyers are multilingual and have expertise in special circumstances that may affect your case.

Below are links to the legal aid organizations in Virginia that assist with family law issues. To see if you meet the income eligibility requirements, apply online to the organization that serves your region.

Blue Ridge Legal Services Central Virginia Legal Aid Society
Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley
Legal Aid Works Legal Services of Northern Virginia
Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society Virginia Legal Aid Society

Virginia Free Legal Answers

On the Virginia Free Legal Answers website, you can submit questions and get answers emailed from a lawyer. You have the option to respond with follow-up questions. There are no fees, but you must meet income eligibility requirements, which are assessed with a short online questionnaire. Response time depends on lawyer availability.

Virginia Lawyer Referral Service

For $35, the Virginia Bar Association's Virginia Lawyer Referral Service connects you to a lawyer for a 30-minute phone call or office appointment. Your consultation is scheduled within 48 hours of submitting the request and does not cost extra. There are no income eligibility requirements — anyone over 18 can use the service. You're not obligated to hire the lawyer after your initial appointment.

Language interpretation

Courts provide language services for parents who have limited English proficiency and who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Language services

For hearings and trials, courts provide interpreters for parents who speak Arabic, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish or Vietnamese. Complete the interpreter request paperwork at the court clerk's office at least three weeks before each court date.

Court-appointed interpreters cost $40 or $60 per hour (depending on their certification level). Parents with an approved fee waiver or a legal aid lawyer don't have to pay.

Deaf and hard of hearing accommodations

American Sign Language interpretation and Communication Access Real Time Translation (CART) are always free. Parents who need these accommodations should contact the court clerk and review information from the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Our professional sources

For more help, consider reaching out to one of our sources. The professionals below provided expertise for this guide to custody and parenting time in Virginia. We hope they can help you, too.

Cook Craig & Francuzenko, P.L.L.C.
Alanna Williams, Attorney at Law
Fairfax, VA

Select Law Partners, PC
Matt Kurylo, Attorney at Law
Fredericksburg, VA

Parks Zeigler, P.L.L.C.
Allison W. Anders, Attorney at Law
Virginia Beach, VA

Steven Krieger Law, P.L.L.C.
Steven Krieger, Attorney at Law
Arlington, VA

Woehrle Dahlburg Yao, P.L.L.C.
Adriana Estevez, Attorney at Law
Fredericksburg, VA

Custody X Change app

The custody process requires organization. You may need to create a parenting plan, draft multiple parenting schedules, calculate expenses, keep a record of communication with the other parent and more.

The Custody X Change app enables you to do all of this in one place.

With a parenting plan template, customizable custody calendars, an expense tracker, parent-to-parent messaging and more, Custody X Change makes sure you're prepared for whatever arises in your journey to child custody.

Take advantage of our technology to stay on top of all the moving parts of your case.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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