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Chances at obtaining Full Custody in VA

Started by Amarant01, Sep 06, 2017, 02:37:04 PM

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Hello, I am in Virginia.  Last October, I was forced to ask for CPS to intervene on behath of my son, and he was taken from her home for a period of 4 months, until the conclusion of their investigation.  After the investigation was complete, the case worker notified me that he was able to return to the mother's home, I suppose that she resolved the issues that were addressed.  However, after 3 days in her care, my son was sent back to me, and has been with me for the past 6 months.  The mother and I share physical and legal custody, and our son lived with us both up until that point, six months ago, where he has only been with me.  The mother has not made any contact with my son within these six months, came to see, brought him clothes, nothing....He had a birthday that past a couple of months ago, and his little brother called using her phone, but she didn't talk to him on the phone, or come to see him, bring presents, etc.  The children have recently went back to school, and The school that he has been going to was under his mother address, in the next city over, approx. 30 minutes away.  I have had no problem taking him to school during this time.  It came to my attention within the last few days that the mother has moved from her address, to the point where he other kids are registered at a different school in a different school zone.  The other kids information has been updated with the new address information, but not my sons.  At this point, I am convinced that this is clear abandonment, and I am wondering if anyone knows the chances, or how to proceed in this case.  Im intending to file for full custody, but does this qualify as abandonment?  What route can I take, and what do you think are the chances?  I have been to the juvenile court in the past years a multitude of time, to mixed results.  My son is 11 years old, and in the 5th grade if that is pertinent.


What does the last set of papers say? Did CPS give you some sort of custody? Is CPS still involved?
You should be able to register child near your home now. Depending on how you answer the above questions we can help you further.


The last custody determination was done over 4 years ago, which details the shared physical and legal custody, and times frames.  My son was granted to be with me from Friday evenings, until Tuesday mornings every week.  CPS is not currently involved, the case worker informed me to contact her if any of the problems reported persisted, but my son hasn't been with his mother for a problem to occur, one of the reasons why I believe she has stepped out of the picture.  CPS didn't make any changes to custody, Im still waiting on the full report from them as to what exactly was concluded after the investigation.  I s it necessary to change his school at this point?  that was a thought, but because of how it is expected for parents to "work" together at matters such as schooling, etc, I didn't want to look like the bad guy by switching his school without her input.


The school may not allow child to stay there if neither parent is living in that area. Here they make you leave. You may need new custody papers to enroll him in your school district. You can go to the court house and ask for emergency temp custody to enroll child in school due to father having full physical custody since XXX (Put the date) with no contact from mother. Ask for the emergency custody order since you want to move schools now rather than later. (you can try to call the new school and ask then if they need the custody order or can they accept the one you already have). Since child is with you now, it would be in the best interest of child to be in school with neighboring friends and be closer so he can join after school activities/sports. If you know where mom is , you can send her an email/text/letter stating that you are moving child to xx school since she is no longer living in that area and not exercising her parental visitation and you have him full time.

When you are at court house, ask to see if you qualify for legal aid. Depending on salary you may qualify for a lawyer. If not, go to see a lawyer in your area for a consultation (many times it is free or small hour fee) and go over your options. But since school just started, want to get that done quickly to move child now instead of half way through year.


I appreciate your assistance.  My only concern with that is that he doesn't know the children in my area too well, if there are that many.  I stay in a neighborhood that is predominantly elderly people, and their grandchildren aren't present too much for him to meet.  He definitely has playmate in my generalize area, as he occasionally spends time with my friends children who live in my general area.  Most of his friends are by way of my parents residence, which is 5 minutes down the street from her current school.  I wouldn't have a problem moving him to a school I my zone, but because he does have friends at that school from that area, I am torn whether there is another option.  I remember reading about tuition if a parent moves, before.  This has actually happen once before when he was in kindergarten, and they allowed him to stay at the school, but I am not aware of the details why.  I do wish to enroll him in extracurricular activities, which is burdened by the current custody order, so that makes sense.  I guess where I am getting at, is if I do have to wait until the second half of school to move him, do I still use that as reasoning for the emergency custody, or do I stick with the no contact and in my primary care for the past six months as the main reason?  I contacted the school district to see how the enrollment situation will work, I am just awaiting an answer from them.  Virginia has a law that indicates child abandonment after 30 days of no contact/support, do you believe it would be more feasible to pursue it in that manner, and just request full custody as result?  Thank you in advance, any help is appreciated


Yes, you can do it that way too. You would go to the court house you went to from last order and ask to fill out a custody modification order and the reason is mother has not see child since xx and father wishes to full custody for education and medical issues. It will take a few months to straighten this out , you will need an address to mother to have her served the paperwork (or work address?). Then if you want to switch schools after a vacation or next school year you could. If this is public school , there should be no fee to changes schools as you gained custody and enrolling child in your school zone. This way child can be bused to your house as I am guessing you are now driving child.

What does your last order state about custody? It sounds like you had more time and may already have custody is those papers. Look and see if it says joint legal, or joint physical. It you had 4 nights a week , you may have it so check!