Code of Virginia - Title 31 Guardian And Ward - Section 31-15 Custody when parents are separated

§ 31-15. Custody when parents are separated

When any husband and wife live in a state of separation, without being divorced, and have a minor child of the marriage, any court of record having equity jurisdiction in, or the juvenile and domestic relations court of, the city or county in which the child is, or the judge in vacation, may, in the discretion of the court or judge, upon the petition of the mother or father, award to the petitioner the custody and control of the child for such time, under such regulations and restrictions, and with such provisions and directions, as the case requires and as will best promote the welfare of the child. In such case or in any other case in which the parents are living apart, whether partially or absolutely divorced or not, the court or judge or any court of competent jurisdiction, in awarding the custody of the child to either parent or to some other person, shall give primary consideration to the welfare of the child, and as between the parents there shall be no presumption or inference of law in favor of either. The court or judge in the enforcement of its orders may direct its officer to take possession of the child or children and dispose of them as it directs.

(Code 1919, §§ 5320, 5327; 1930, p. 687; 1944, p. 215; 1983, c. 478.)

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Last modified: April 3, 2009