Safety and Health Reporter
Brien Roche Law > Blog > Intentional Torts > Parental Rights in Virginia

Parental Rights in Virginia

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Parental Rights in Virginia

Brien Roche

Parental Rights in Virginia

Parental rights in Virginia may be more important than you thought. The Virginia Supreme Court recently in the case of Wyatt v. McDermott, held that a natural father could assert a claim against third parties who had tortiously interfered with his parental rights in the course of pursuing an adoption of that father’s child.  The Court noted that the parent-child relationship is a valuable right that has constitutional underpinning.

To assert the cause of action the plaintiff had to allege that he had a right to the parental relationship, that a third party intentionally interfered with that right thereby causing harm to the relationship with resulting damage.

The damages that the Court found allowable were both tangible and intangible including the out of pocket expenses incurred in seeking recovery of the child, loss of services, loss of companionship and mental anguish.

Punitive damages conceivably could also be recovered.

The Court did note that the claim probably would not be recognizable against the other parent if, in fact, both parents have substantially equal custodial rights and if the other parent can justifiably assert that the interference was necessary in order to protect the child.

For more information on intentional torts see the page on this site dealing with that topic and the other pages on this site and for more information about parental rights see the pages on Wikipedia.

Comments are closed.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Parental Rights in Virginia

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Parental Rights in Virginia

Brien Roche

Parental Rights in Virginia

Parental rights in Virginia may be more important than you thought. The Virginia Supreme Court recently in the case of Wyatt v. McDermott, held that a natural father could assert a claim against third parties who had tortiously interfered with his parental rights in the course of pursuing an adoption of that father’s child.  The Court noted that the parent-child relationship is a valuable right that has constitutional underpinning.

To assert the cause of action the plaintiff had to allege that he had a right to the parental relationship, that a third party intentionally interfered with that right thereby causing harm to the relationship with resulting damage.

The damages that the Court found allowable were both tangible and intangible including the out of pocket expenses incurred in seeking recovery of the child, loss of services, loss of companionship and mental anguish.

Punitive damages conceivably could also be recovered.

The Court did note that the claim probably would not be recognizable against the other parent if, in fact, both parents have substantially equal custodial rights and if the other parent can justifiably assert that the interference was necessary in order to protect the child.

For more information on intentional torts see the page on this site dealing with that topic and the other pages on this site and for more information about parental rights see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation