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District Court in VA can hear child custody and family cases at the discretion of the district court judge and depending on the local rules of your county as well, as they are a limited jurisdiction trial court. The court is not more sensitive to the individual rights of the litigants, that varies from judge to judge and it has nothing to do with it being juvenile or domestic relations court it all has to do with the judge personally. So you could file a custody dispute in the district court as they have legal jurisdiction to hear those disputes, but it is up to the district judge's discretion to hear it or return it to the court where the case was first heard and the order was issued and the district judge can decline jurisdiction.