Virginia parents can preserve custody rights


Parents should make every effort to thoroughly understand the child custody laws within the state they reside. Virginia judges usually award child custody based upon the best interests of the child. In another state, multiple decisions rendered by a judge have been questioned in the community. One of the most recent decisions awarded child custody to a sex offender, which resulted in a petition signed by 1,500 people.

A community is reeling after learning that the judge awarded full custody to a sex offender. The man was previously convicted and sentenced for lewd acts with his then 6-year-old step-daughter. Since the decision was made, more families have claimed that the same judge made questionable decisions in their own custody cases. In another case, a father says that the mother was awarded full custody even though she allegedly suffers from borderline personality disorder and is addicted to prescription medication.

The father has also claimed that, on three different occasions, the mother tried to commit suicide. The families have circulated a petition and were able to obtain 1,500 signatures to rescind the judge’s rulings. Once they obtained the signatures, they took the petition to the judge.

When facing a child custody battle, it's important for parents to fight for the right to be a significant role in their children's lives. Establishing or preserving one's parental rights is a way to make sure both parents and children are able to continue a loving and involved relationship. When litigation is the only resolution, the civil court system in Virginia handles these types of disputes and focuses on the best interests of the children.

Source:, "Families protest judge's decision to give custody of child to sex offender," Paige Hill, July 31, 2013

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