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Military Parents may Delegate their Visitation during Deployments

Virginia Military Parents may delegate their visitation rights to a family member, including the stepparent that enjoys a “close and substantial relationship” with the child, when they are deployed on active duty.

The court may enter an order granting all or a portion of a non-custodial parent’s visitation to a family member, if you had visitation rights with the child prior to your deployment or may provide visitation to such family member, if you had physical custody of the child prior to your deployment and the non-deploying parent or a family member of the non-deploying parent is awarded physical custody during your deployment.

The order delegating or providing visitation rights to a family member pursuant to this law does not create a separate right to visitation in the family member to whom visitation rights are delegated or provided. You may at any time, and non-deploying parent or guardian may upon a showing of a material change in circumstances, petition to rescind the order. Upon your return from deployment, the delegated visitation to the family member is terminated by operation of law once the military service member sends written notice of his or her return.

The bonds that your child has established with other family members, including stepparents, do not need be broken because of your deployments!


An outstanding job on my case to have custody, visitation and support decided in my home state instead of Virginia after I separated from military service.- A.E.