If you are denied the right to continue to actively participate in the life of a child you have helped raise, your first step should be to attempt to work with the legal parent to create a practical arrangement that meets the child’s needs as well as yours. Failing this, you will need to consider whether it makes sense to achieve your goals by going to court. Virginia recognizes the right of nonlegal parents to visit the children they have helped raised. It allows “any interested person” to bring an action for visitation, especially where that person has functioned as a parent by being the primary caregiver. If the natural parent is unfit or deceased, it is more likely for courts here to give the nonlegal parent – especially if a blood relative – a major childrearing role.
For further information or questions please schedule a consultation in our Alexandria, Virginia office.