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Understanding legal terminology in Virginia child custody cases

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2021 | Child Custody

Unless you work in the legal industry, you probably do not know what many of the words and phrases you hear in your child custody proceedings mean. When you are unsure what the people around you are saying, you might inadvertently put your custody rights at risk.

Many parents in Harrisonburg and other Virginia communities hesitate to request clarification of the family law legal terms they hear or read. Most of them do not want to appear uninformed during such a critical point. Regardless of the reason, it is typically unwise to remain in the dark about anything related to your child.

Definitions for common child custody terms

You will hear many different words as the legal personnel involved with your case discuss your situation. Some of these words – child, court, etc. – you already know. Below, we have defined several other terms to ensure that you need never ask anyone what they are saying.

  • Child custody determination: A court order outlining the rules of your custody and visitation arrangement.
  • Issuing court: The court that ruled on or handed down your child custody determination.
  • Issuing state: The state in which you received your custody determination.
  • Physical custody: The supervision and physical care of a child by a parent.
  • Modification: A separate child custody determination that alters or modifies an existing custody agreement.
  • Home state: The state in which your child resided for at least six months (or from birth in infants) before child custody proceedings began.

If you are still confused about the words and phrases you hear during custody matters, do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Few people know what these terms mean, so you are far from alone. Learning more about the Virginia child custody process can also help you understand the terminology introduced to you.

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