Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Custody of Grand Children (2)

Grand Mother wishes to take necessary steps to

gain custody and or adoption of two grand

children, two boys, because father is a single

parent and is out of control due to drugs. They live

in the State of Virgina. Grand Mother is living in

North Carolina.

Requesting at this time, action to take. Thank you

in advance for any advice you may give in this


Neil &--name removed---name removed--

e-mail: [email protected]

Asked on 8/03/01, 12:22 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Lisa Lane McDevitt McDevitt Law Office

Re: Custody of Grand Children (2)

You need to file a petition for custody in the jurisdiction in which the children are living and have lived for the last 6 months. Where is the mother? I ask this because the natural parents have a preference in the courts for custody. However, that doesn't mean that you cannot gain custody. Indeed if the father is unfit due to drug addiction and the mother has either voluntarily relinquished her rights or has abandoned the children or is also unfit due to addictions then you do have a good chance. The courts seek to determine what is in the best interest of the children. It is not in the best interest of children to be raised by unfit parents who are drug addicted.

If you have any questions, please call me at 703-968-3974.

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Answered on 8/03/01, 1:38 pm

Robert Beard Attorney at Law

Re: Custody of Grand Children (2)

Even if the children have not been in Virginia for six months, it is possible that, if the situation in the home is serious enough due to the father's drug abuse, the children's custody may be changed as the result of an abuse and neglect petition. If the children are at risk, the matter may be reported to the local department of social services where the children are living for investigation. If the children are determined to be at risk, the court is required to consider placement with relatives before placement in foster care. There may be delays with an interstate placement, but, if the children are really at risk, this may be an appropriate approach.

Please Note: The answer to the question above does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is general in nature, and is not intended to, nor is there any representation that it does, meet your legal needs. You are not being advised to take or not to take any action pursuant to this general information. You are strongly encouraged to obtain the services of legal counsel to pursue any legal rights and remedies you may have. The Virginia Lawyers Referral Service can provide you with a referral to an attorney who will give you an initial one-half hour consultation for a maximum fee of $35. This may prove to be a very valuable investment.

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Answered on 8/04/01, 8:41 pm

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