Child custody is often a contentious issue. Parents love their children and want to be a part of their lives, but it is hard after a divorce. You may only get to see your child 50% of the time.
You may think that battling it out in court is the answer, but ideally, you and the other parent should work together to create a plan that puts the best interests of the children in mind. Think about their needs and keep the stress to a minimum.
If you and the other parent are not seeing eye to eye on child custody, speak to a Manassas child custody attorney first. We will help you understand your legal options and hopefully avoid litigation.
There are two main types of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the location of the children’s residence. It can be shared with the children’s residence rotating between the parents’ homes, or one parent can have primary physical custody where the children reside most of the time. Legal custody refers to the rights of the parents to participate in making decisions about educational, legal or medical issues affecting their children. Legal custody can also be either sole or joint, with sole custody being rare. Visitation or parenting time refers to how your children split their time between the two of you. The court would need a good reason to not allow any visitation at all, such as abuse, neglect, incarceration, or substance abuse.
While physical custody can be 50/50, with each parent having equal time with the child, it is possible for one parent to become the primary custodial parent. This means that the children would spend the majority of their time with that parent, while the other parent would have a visitation schedule. However, when it comes to physical custody, the parents can work together to come up with a reasonable plan.
The term legal custody refers to making important life decisions for the children. If legal custody is joint, both parents can participate in making these decisions. Typically, these decisions are about your children’s ongoing education, health care, medical needs, religion, and extracurricular activities.
If the parents cannot decide on child custody on their own, then the court will decide based on the best interests of the child. This involves many factors such as the following:
It is best for parents to come to an agreement on their child’s custody on their own. Having a good relationship with each other as well as the right legal help can make all the difference.
Child custody is an important matter for both the children and the parents. The Manassas child custody attorneys at the Virginia Family Law Center are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call the office or fill out the online form.
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