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  1. #1

    Default Can Parents Skip Custody Hearing when Giving Custody of a Child to a Family Member

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Virginia


    I am filling a custody petition in the state of Virginia to get custody of my nephew who was living in Puerto Rico but recently moved to live with me in Virginia. He is 17 years old and won't be 18 until May 2013. His dad has sole legal custody and he lives in Puerto Rico. His mother lives in Philadelphia and only has visitation rights during the summer break and the Christmas break provided she pays for the air travel.

    I have spoken to both parents and they do not object for my wife and me to get custody. We are all in agreement that this will be the best choice for the teenager. My nephew also wants to stay with me in Virginia. Once the parents get served to appear in court, can they provide any documentation stating there are no objections to the proposed custody? Or, must they appear in court? What documentation should the parents provide if skipping the court appearance is an option?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Can Parents Skip Custody Hearing when Giving Custody of a Child to a Family Membe

    it would be much simpler to obtain guardianship for the child since the parents are specifically allowing the child to remain with you. Custody is an issue that results the child being required to be in the control of the custodian. Guardianship is simply giving you certain rights to act as a parent would in legally necessary situations and has nothing to do with actual custody.

    You may not even have to have a court authorized guardianship but I have not researched anything on that point. It may be as simple as the parents signing a consent to give you guardianship over their child while he is with you.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can Parents Skip Custody Hearing when Giving Custody of a Child to a Family Membe

    I was granted Guardianship by his parents through a Puerto Rico lawer. When I went to register him in school I was told to go register the Guardianship documents at the county Juvenile Intake Center. I was told that guardianship documents from out-of-state are not recognized. It must be a Custody Petition signed by a judge through the state of Virginia. The clerk advised me that the Custody Petition would overwrite his dad's custody.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Can Parents Skip Custody Hearing when Giving Custody of a Child to a Family Membe

    preposterous. There is no need for a custody order and it is actually contrary to the parental relationship.

    If you have court granted custody, that means the child cannot return to his own parents without your permission. Unless there was also a visitation order made, you could restrict the parents from contacting their own child.

    I can accept the out of state guardianship situation. That is why they need to be acknowledged by the local court.

    Custody given the situation and intent just makes no sense to me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can Parents Skip Custody Hearing when Giving Custody of a Child to a Family Membe

    I totally agree.

    I still would like know if the parents must attend the custody hearing on this situation or if the parents can provide some sort of statement to the court to save a trip since this would be a no controversy custody hearing. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Can Parents Skip Custody Hearing when Giving Custody of a Child to a Family Membe

    I cannot say for sure but I suspect a judge would want to speak with them first hand. You might look into the possibility of them attending telephonically. Don't know if it is possible but it might be.

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