Domestic Relations Services

703-246-3040 TTY 711
4110 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 202
Fairfax, VA 22030
Tina Spurlock
Acting Director

Filing for Custody Through Domestic Relations

Domestic Relations handles all non-contested (all parties in agreement) custody matters of school-aged children and cases with Department of Family Services (DFS)/Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement. Prior to scheduling an appointment, filing parties should contact Domestic Relations (703-246-3040) to ensure that the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court is the appropriate authority to process the petition.  

Additionally, if the child is of school age, it is highly encouraged that you contact Fairfax County Public School's Central Registration to discuss the case prior to an appointment with an Intake Officer.

To file for custody in the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District the following is required:

  • The child must currently reside with the party seeking custody and must be a resident of Fairfax County for 6 months prior to filing unless there is DFS/CPS involvement.
  • The party seeking custody must reside in Fairfax County unless there is a prior or pending order in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
  • The name and current address (or last known address) of each parent/legal guardian. If the parent/legal guardian's address is unknown, every effort to secure the address prior to the appointment must be made, as the Code of Virginia requires that notice of the custody proceeding be mailed to the last known address.
  • Address or addresses of where the child had resided for the last 5 years. Including dates and who the child lived with, along with the current address of that person.
  • If filing for joint custody, it is required that both parties be present during the appointment.
    • Intake Information Form
    • Acknowledgement of Custody/Visitation
    • Filing fee of $25.00 is filed prior to the case being docketed

Additional Information:

The Code of Virginia requires the appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL) which is a specially trained attorney who represents the best interest of the child. This attorney will prepare a recommendation for the judge (as to whether your home is an appropriate placement for the child) which may be based on a home visit completed prior to the hearing. The party filing for custody will be assessed the fee for the GAL at the time of the hearing.

If the judge feels it is necessary, completion of a parenting class may be required. Any charges for this class will be the responsibility of the party filing for custody unless otherwise specified.

When making an appointment, please indicate the need for interpreter services. Spanish interpreters are generally available at Central Intake between 9am and 3pm. Any other language will require additional notice. Court hearings include interpreter services free of charge.

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