Judges Must Now Communicate the Basis for their Custody Decisions

Among the many other laws going into effect July 1 is an important one regarding child custody decisions.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation that compels judges to describe the basis for their decisions regarding relevant factors they used to determine the best interests of the child in child custody cases. This does not apply to instances of consent orders for custody or visitation.

Previously, the Code of Virginia required judges to explain the basis for their decisions written or orally, but did not require them to enumerate the relevant factors.

The legislature hopes this amendment to § 20-124.3 will improve transparency and protect the parental rights of both parents in divorce and custody hearings.

If you have a child custody case or question, please call one of our domestic relations attorneys at Winslow & McCurry, PLLC at (804) 423-1382.