Every divorce has specific elements involved. If you are divorcing with children, you will need to deal with elements such as child custody. As a parent, it is important that you exercise your legal rights. It is also important that the best interests of the child are kept in mind as well.
Virginia recognizes two main types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. The experienced Fairfax child custody lawyers at Virginia Family Law Center can advise you of your legal rights and help you make the right decisions.
Legal custody refers to the ability to make important decisions for your child. There can be sole custody, which means that just one parent takes on the responsibility, or there can be joint custody, in which both parents share the responsibility.
Legal custody means making decisions for your child about topics such as education, medical needs, health care, religion, and extracurricular activities. The parent also handles decisions regarding the child’s daily living, such as food, shelter, and clothing.
Physical custody refers to the child’s visitation schedule with each parent. Physical custody can also be either sole or joint, but sole custody is rare. The court maintains that in regard to the best interests of the child, the child should be able to have regular contact with both parents unless there is a compelling reason to deny a parent the right to visitation with their child.
In some cases, the child will spend most of their time with one parent. However, you can also split your time equally (or nearly equally) if you and the other parent can come to an agreement.
Under Code of Virginia § 20-124.2, the court gives primary consideration to the best interests of the child. This often means allowing the child to have frequent contact with both parents, if appropriate. While the focus is on the parent-child relationship, it’s possible that the best interest of the child would be served by awarding child custody or visitation to any other person with a legitimate interest (such as grandparents) if the court has clear and convincing evidence.
Code of Virginia § 20-124.3 lays out the factors that determine the best interests of the child. They include:
Most parents want the best for their children. Getting through a divorce can be stressful for all involved.
The right lawyer can help you and your family get through a divorce with ease. Turn to the experienced Fairfax custody lawyers at Virginia Family Law Center. Trust our dedicated team to help you with your case. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (703) 865-5839.
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