The court lacks jurisdiction to enter a child custody order in this divorce action. A prior order from the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court determined child custody within six months after the child left the Commonwealth. At this time, the child and mother have resided in another state for more than six months preceding the divorce filing of the divorce, and the father has also decamped to Washington, D.C.
First, the court is not contemplating modification of one of its own orders, thereby not satisfying the continuing jurisdiction requirements of Code § 20-146.13, which would in any case require at least one parent or the child remain present in the Commonwealth. Moreover, pursuant to Code § 20-146.12(B), Virginia was not the child’s state of residence at or within six months before the time of filing of the divorce complaints, and neither parent currently resides in the Commonwealth.
Thus, the court doesn’t have subject-matter jurisdiction to consider entry of a child custody order.