• Morris Williams LLC

Virginia Notice Provisions for Custody and Visitation Order: What You Should Know.


Do you have a court order for your child’s custody/visitation matter? (Click here to learn more about the types of custody in Virginia.) If you do, don’t forget that after an order has been entered by a judge, your interaction with the court does not end. While your case may have concluded, there is one issue that you need to keep the court updated for as long as you have a court order: your address!

Under Section 20-124.5 of the Code of Virginia, you and your co-parent/co-taker must provide thirty (30) days’ “advance written notice to the court” AND to “the other party” if you intend to move. This is just a fancy way of saying, both of you must tell the other, and the court, the address where you’re moving ahead of time! There is an exception to this rule if the court has specifically told you not to do so, which comes up in matters involving domestic violence, where keeping one party’s address confidential is important for safety reasons. But you're not off the hook when it comes to keeping the court and your co-parent/co-caretaker updated on your soon to be new home!

So, you may think, what’s the big deal? First, if you do not provide the court your notice to move and your new address, you could be held in contempt of court for not following your order. The Judge doesn’t just put orders in place for people to ignore them. So, read the order thoroughly. Second, if you don't provide the court your updated address, it will continue to use your old address for any future court filings. This is a big deal! Think of what would happen to you if your co-parent/co-taker filed a new motion regarding your child’s custody and/or visitation and you didn’t know what was going on because you didn’t let anyone know where you were living. There could be an order entered without your knowledge!

Luckily, if you’re intending to move, many local courts have an easy process to change your address through a form letter that you can file and then copy your co-parent/co-caretaker on. Most court’s will also accept a normal letter from the party saying what their new address is, too, it doesn’t have to be fancy! The most important thing to remember is that it is not the court’s job to make sure your information is correct.

While it may seem like a simple task, sometimes parties can forget. So, if this provision is in your order and you’re about to move, get out a stamp (yes, snail mail is still a thing in the courts), mail your letter to the court and your co-parent/co-caretaker before moving day!

If you’d like to learn more about notice requirements in Virginia Custody and Visitation Order, check out our video here.

If you have more questions about your unique family law matter, our experienced attorneys at Morris Williams LLC – A Family Law Firm are here to empower you to make the best decisions for your future. Contact us to today to schedule your consultation by calling (757) 226-9425 or email us at admin@morriswilliamslaw.com.

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