Northern Virginia Child Custody Advocates


Your relationship with your child is your most valuable asset. It is important you do everything in your power to protect it. In Virginia, child custody is determined by evaluating what is in the best interests of the child.

Attorney Renee Berard is certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia to serve as a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of children in pending legal matters. She is regularly appointed by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and the Circuit Court to advocate for children's best interests in custody disputes, abuse and neglect cases, and foster care cases.

The skilled lawyers at Alex Levay, PLLC, represent individuals with difficult child custody battles in Leesburg and throughout northern Virginia. If you need help with a custody matter, please call our office at 703-777-6801 or email us. We offer a free initial consultation.

What Is the Best Interest Standard in Virginia

Below is a list of the statutory factors that the court must consider before determining what is the child's best interest:

§ 20-124.3. Best interests of the child; visitation.

In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, the court shall consider the following:

1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs

2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent

3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child

4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members

5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child

6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child

7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child

8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference

9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6

10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination

Modification of Custody

There are certain circumstances where the court will modify an existing child custody order. In order to modify the court's order, there must be a material change in circumstance since the last court order and the modification requested must be in the child's best interest. If you need help with modifying a child custody agreement, we can help.

Talk to Our Attorneys About Your Child Custody Issue

To learn more about how we can help you with your child custody issue, please contact our firm to schedule a complimentary consultation. You can reach us toll free at 703-777-6801. Our office is easy to find. We are conveniently located across the street from the Loudon County Courthouse.