2006 Code of Virginia § 20-124.3 - Best interests of the child; visitation

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

In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custodyor 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 dueconsideration 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 dueconsideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the abilityto accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needsof the child;

4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other importantrelationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers andextended family members;

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

6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact andrelationship with the other parent, including whether a parent hasunreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;

7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent tomaintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the abilityof each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding mattersaffecting the child;

8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to beof reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express sucha preference;

9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in 16.1-228. If thecourt finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors insubdivision 6; and

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

The judge shall communicate to the parties the basis of the decision eitherorally or in writing.

(1994, c. 769; 1999, c. 634; 2000, c. 466; 2004, c. 221.)

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