City of Alexandria, VA
Custody and Visitation
These cases involve parents, family members, or other persons who have a legitimate interest in the child who ask the court to decide where a child should live and what kind of contact or visitation the other parent or family member should have with the child. The law allows relatives and other people who have a legitimate interest in the child to file Petitions for custody and visitation.
The Juvenile Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court regarding matters of custody and visitation. That means in this context that a person can file a Petition concerning custody or visitation in either court. However, under certain circumstances, if a Petition for custody or visitation is set for hearing in the Juvenile Court and someone files a case in Circuit Court where the issue of custody or visitation will be heard within 21 days, the Juvenile Court loses jurisdiction to hear that case until the Circuit Court enters an order sending the case back to the Juvenile Court for any future motions, proceedings, or hearings.