Virginia fans of reality television shows may be interested to learn that actor and father Jon Gosselin is seeking custody of just one of his sextuplets, his 11-year-old daughter, Hannah. Reportedly, his daughter has indicated that her mom, Kate, is forcing her to participate in more episodes of "Kate plus 8" against her wishes.
Under Virginia law, people who are not the parents of a child may apply for custody if they are a relative, stepparent, former stepparent or anyone who has filled a similar role in relation to the child. Both parents are also able to seek custody of the child, and the parents will be given preference in a custody dispute unless they are shown to be unfit.
When making decisions about visitation, there are a number of factors that a judge might consider. Generally, the court seeks to provide consistent and predictable interaction with each parent. However, there are some factors, such as abusive behavior or neglect, which might cause a judge limit the interaction a child has with a parent. Any plans made are typically focused on the child, seeking to provide a situation that offers a safe and healthy environment.
In Virginia, there are several factors used to determine if a custody or visitation decision is in the best interests of a child. The first factor that is taken into account is the age of the child and the changing needs of the child as it gets older. The current physical and mental needs of the child are also taken into consideration when determining if an action is in his or her best interests.
When parents have a custody dispute and file a petition, courts determine custody and visitation rights in accordance with the best interests of the child. In making the decision, courts look to a number of factors.
Paul George's current legal dispute points out some issues which may be of concern to unmarried Virginia couples trying to resolve a child custody matter. George allegedly fathered a child with Daniela Rajic, a woman he met in Florida. A paternity test performed before the birth confirmed George as the father. However, he disputes the test's method and result. He plans to accept responsibility if another test confirms him as the father.
Sherri Shepherd, host of the television show, “The View,” finds herself in a two-front conflict with an ex-husband and an estranged one. Her ex-husband is challenging her for custody of their 9-year-old son, and her estranged husband wants physical custody of a child yet to be born.