Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 6.2. Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act
6/16/2021

§ 20-124.8. Deployment; temporary order.

A. Any court order limiting previously ordered custodial or visitation rights of a deploying parent or guardian due to the parent's or guardian's deployment shall specify the deployment as the basis for the order and shall be entered by the court as a temporary order. Any such order shall further require the nondeploying parent or guardian to provide the court with 30 days advance written notice of any change of address and any change of telephone number.

B. The court, on motion of the deploying parent or guardian to delegate visitation to a family member, including a stepparent, with whom the child has a close and substantial relationship and upon finding that such delegation is in the best interests of the child, may enter an order delegating visitation that:

1. Delegates all or a portion of the deploying parent's or guardian's visitation rights to such family member, if the deploying parent or guardian had visitation rights with the child prior to the deployment; or

2. Provides visitation rights to such family member, if the deploying parent or guardian had physical custody of the child prior to the deployment and the nondeploying parent or guardian, or a family member of the nondeploying parent or guardian, is awarded physical custody during the deployment.

An order delegating or providing visitation rights to a family member pursuant to this subsection does not create a separate right to visitation in the family member to whom visitation rights are delegated or provided. The deploying parent or guardian may at any time, and the nondeploying parent or guardian may upon a showing of a material change in circumstances, file a motion to rescind the order delegating or providing visitation rights to a family member and such order shall terminate by operation of law upon the return of the deploying parent or guardian from deployment. Written notice of the return of the deployed parent or guardian and the termination of the delegated visitation shall be provided by the previously deployed parent or guardian to any family member whose visitation is thereby terminated.

C. The court, on motion of the deploying parent or guardian returning from deployment seeking to amend or review the custody or visitation order entered based upon the deployment, shall set a hearing on the matter that shall take precedence on the court's docket, and shall be set within 30 days of the filing of the motion. For purposes of this hearing, the nondeploying parent or guardian shall bear the burden of showing that reentry of the custody or visitation order in effect before the deployment is no longer in the child's best interests.

D. This section shall not otherwise preclude a parent or guardian from petitioning for a modification of a custody or visitation order based upon a change in circumstances.

2008, c. 750; 2011, c. 351.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.