Law & Legal & Attorney Children Law

Violation of a Custody Order in Virginia

    Parental Abduction

    • If a parent does not return a child at the end of visitation as ordered, he is in violation of the custody order. The custodial parent must demand that the child be returned immediately. If the parent in violation does not comply within 48 hours, he can be charged with a crime. If he remained in Virginia with the child, he is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces a $25 fine and up to 30 days in jail. If he left the state he is guilty of a felony and the penalty increases to a fine of $250 to $1,000 and 30 days to one year in jail.

    Third Party Withholding

    • Virginia Code 18.2-49.1 states that any person who violates a custody order by withholding a child from her parents is guilty of a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by one to five years in prison or 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine under 18.2-10.

    Third Party Interference

    • Any person who interferes with a parent's right to custody or visitation under a custody order is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The penalty of violation is a $500 fine as set forth in 18.2-11.

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