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Spouse has filed for legal separation and also full custody of our son. What are my rights concerning our 8 month old son?

Farmville, VA |

Been married less than 2 years. Relationship hasn't been good for some time now and after the last argument I told my wife that I couldn't live like that anymore. That our son doesn't deserve this. I only want what's best for our son which is both parents. What are my rights?

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Attorney answers 1


You have the same rights to your son as your wife, no more, no less. Virginia did away with the "tender years" doctrine many years ago in favor of the "best interest of the child" approach to determining child custody/visitation matters. The former gave preference to the mother, the latter gives no preference to either parent based on gender.

If she has already filed a petition in JDR court or a complaint for divorce/custody in circuit court, you should consult with a family law attorney immediately to address the filings. You only have a short time to respond to the court filings or you may be found in default, and the court may grant your wife all that she is requesting.

Responses on AVVO do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Answers should be considered for informational purposes only. Please seek the advice of counsel in your local area prior to initiating or responding to any legal actions.