Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 10. Power of Attorney to Delegate Parental or Legal Custodial Powers
9/17/2019

§ 20-166. Power of attorney to delegate parental or legal custodial powers.

A. A parent or legal custodian of a child, by a properly executed power of attorney pursuant to § 20-167, may delegate to another person, for a period not to exceed 180 days, any of the powers regarding the custody, care, and property of the child except the power to consent to marriage or adoption of the child, the performance or inducement of an abortion on or for the child, or the termination of parental rights to the child. In the event that both parents of a child are exercising joint custody, both parents shall be required to execute such power of attorney.

Such parent or legal custodian who is a service member may delegate such powers for a period longer than 180 days while on active duty service if such active duty is longer than 180 days, but such period shall not exceed the term of active duty service plus 30 days. For the purposes of this section, "service member" means (i) a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, (ii) a member of the Armed Forces Reserves, (iii) a member of the National Guard, (iv) a member of the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (v) a member of the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Services, or (vi) any person otherwise required to enter or serve in the active military services of the United States under a call or order of the President of the United States or to serve on state active duty.

A delegation of powers under this section shall not operate to change or modify any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority established by an existing court order or deprive a parent or legal custodian of any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority regarding the custody, visitation, or support of any child under this title.

B. Any power of attorney properly executed pursuant to § 20-167 shall be signed by all persons with authority to make decisions concerning the child pursuant to Chapter 6.1 (§ 20-124.1 et seq.), the person to whom powers are delegated under the power of attorney, and a representative of a licensed child-placing agency that assists parents and legal guardians with the process of delegating parental and legal custodial powers of their children, including assistance with identifying appropriate placements for their children and providing services and resources to support children, parents and legal guardians, and persons to whom parental or legal custodial powers are delegated pursuant to this chapter. That agency shall file notice of the arrangement authorized by the power of attorney with the local department of social services in the jurisdiction where the parents or legal guardian resides within seven days of its execution.

C. Any person who has signed the form under § 20-167 shall have the authority to revoke or withdraw the power of attorney authorized by subsection A at any time. If the delegation of authority lasts longer than 180 days, a new power of attorney shall be executed. Where such delegation is executed by a service member, if the delegation is longer than 180 days while on active duty service and exceeds the term of active duty service plus 30 days, a new power of attorney shall be executed.

D. The attorney-in-fact shall exercise parental or legal authority on a continuous basis for not less than 24 hours and without compensation for the intended duration of the power of attorney authorized by subsection A and shall not be subject to the licensing requirements of § 63.2-1701.

E. The execution of a power of attorney by a parent or legal custodian authorized by subsection A shall not constitute abandonment, abuse, or neglect as defined in § 63.2-100 unless the parent or legal custodian fails to make contact or execute a new power of attorney after the time limit has elapsed.

F. Under a delegation of powers as authorized by subsection A, the child subject to the power of attorney shall not be deemed placed in foster care, in a foster home, or in an independent foster home as defined in § 63.2-100, and the parties shall not be subject to any of the licensing requirements or regulations for foster care.

G. A licensed child-placing agency that assists parents and legal guardians with the process of delegating parental and legal custodial powers of their children shall (i) comply with background check requirements established by regulations of the Board of Social Services or otherwise provided by law; (ii) develop and implement written policies and procedures for (a) governing active and closed cases, (b) governing admissions, (c) monitoring the administration of medications, (d) prohibiting corporal punishment, (e) ensuring that children are not subjected to abuse or neglect, (f) investigating allegations of misconduct toward children, (g) implementing back-up emergency care plans for children, (h) assigning designated casework staff, (i) managing all records, (j) utilizing discharge policies, and (k) regulating the use of seclusion and restraint; and (iii) provide pre-service and ongoing training for temporary placement providers and staff. Any person to whom any powers are delegated pursuant to this section shall comply with background check requirements established by regulations of the Board of Social Services or otherwise provided by law.

H. Except as may be permitted by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 6301 et seq. and 7801 et seq., a power of attorney executed pursuant to § 20-167 shall be invalid if executed for the primary purpose of enrolling the child in a school for the sole purpose of participating in the academic or interscholastic athletics programs provided by that school or for any other unlawful purpose. Violation of this subsection shall be punishable in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth and may require, in addition to any other remedies, repayment by such parent of all costs incurred by the school as a result of the violation.

2019, c. 297.

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