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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9903
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My wife left our house yesterday with our 15 months last

Customer Question

Hi, my wife left our house yesterday with our 15 months last night while I was at work and took almost the house stuff. She send me this morning her new address which is about 40 min away. How can I get my child back?
JA: OK. The Family Lawyer will need to help you with this. Anything else I can tell the Family Lawyer before I connect you two?
Customer: We live in Woodbridge, VA and she moved to Staffort?
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Family Lawyer about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Here is the statute regarding removing a child without permission: https://vacode.org/18.2-47/ code 18.2-47A. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another personwith the intent to deprive such other person of his personal liberty or to withhold or conceal him from any person, authority or institution lawfully entitled to his charge, shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.”B. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another personwith the intent to subject him to forced labor or services shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.” For purposes of this subsection, the term “intimidation” shall include destroying, concealing, confiscating, withholding, or threatening to withhold a passport, immigration document, or other governmental identification or threatening to report another as being illegally present in the United States.C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duty. The terms “abduction” and “kidnapping” shall be synonymous in this Code. Abduction for which no punishment is otherwise prescribed shall be punished as a Class 5 felony.D. If an offense under subsection A is committed by the parent of the personabducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending, the offense shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor in addition to being punishable ascontempt of court. However, such offense, if committed by the parent of theperson abducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending and the person abducted is removed from the Commonwealth by the abducting parent, shall be a Class 6 felony in addition to being punishable ascontempt of court. Often times, if a parent removes the child prior to an anticipated divorce, the parent left behind may file an ex parte application requesting the immediate return of the child. The court will generally order this if there is concern as to the child's safety or well being. If the parent leaves the state, the child can be ordered returned to the child's home state under the UCCJEA (where the child resided the last 6 months). Here is some information on the divorce process; most of it is valid throughout the state-http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ofw/pdf/vadivorceprocedures.pdf
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
If the parties divorce and custody becomes an issue, the court will look to the following factors (note that the courts give great consideration to a parent that withholds the child from the other parent) code 20.124.3 https://vacode.org/20-124.3/ In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, the court shall consider the following: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 thechild;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 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.The judge shall communicate to the parties the basis of the decision either orally or in writing. Except in cases of consent orders for custody and visitation, this communication shall set forth the judge’s findings regarding the relevant factors set forth in this section.

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