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Legal Information: Virginia

Custody

Updated: 
December 4, 2020

Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to file for custody.  However, it is highly recommended that you get a lawyer if you can, especially if the other parent has one.  Custody cases can be complicated, and it is helpful to have someone guide you through the process.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be able to find free or low-cost legal help in your area on the VA Finding a Lawyer page.

Even if you plan on representing yourself, you may want to consider having a lawyer review your papers before you file them.  Avoiding mistakes as much as possible will help to save time and money, and can improve your chances of success.

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.