Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

mother in contempt of court, will not follow court order

I haven't seen my chidren for 4 months, went to court, the mother was ordered to allow me to see my two girls (18mo and 4 mo.). She refuses to let me see them. I can go back and hold her in contempt but it may take several months.

What can I do to see my children now?

The court ordered papers to allow me to see them don't seem to be enough for her. I haven't seen my newborn but twice.

PS her stepfather is a city cop in the same town that I am trying to see my children. He too refused to let me have them when I went to pick them up.

I do have a past record. Felonies. Can they refuse me my chidlren because of B and E. charges? They appealed to circuit court the day the judge gave me visitation. Now I must go to circuit court. I have no money.

How can I get a pro bono lawyer?

I want to see my children as soon as possible. What can I do to get these people to give me my court ordered visits?

What help is available to me for upcoming circuit court?

Asked on 3/19/06, 8:07 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: mother in contempt of court, will not follow court order

You should check with one of the low cost legal services providers in your area to see whether you might qualify for one of their attorneys at minimal cost to assist you in this matter.

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3/20/06, 9:05 am
James Wilson James H. Wilson, Jr., Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: mother in contempt of court, will not follow court order

A Virginia court shall consider the following factors in determining custody or visitation:

1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs;

2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;

3. 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;

4. 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;

5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;

6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;

7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;

8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;

9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in 16.1-228. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and

10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

Organizations providing pro bono legal services in Virginia with links:

Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc.: http://www.brls.org/

Legal Services Corporation: http://www.lsc.gov/

Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society: http://www.svlas.org/

Virginia Poverty Law Center: http://www.vplc.org/

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3/20/06, 9:20 am

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