If you are facing a divorce, child custody and visitation are very likely among the most important matters you will need to address. Because your parental rights and your children’s best interests are paramount, you are well-advised to work closely with an experienced Virginia child custody attorney.
In Virginia, custody breaks down into both legal and physical custody, which incorporates visitation. Legal custody relates to who will be making important life decisions for your children moving forward, and it can be either sole (one parent takes on the responsibility) or joint (both of you share the responsibility). The kinds of questions involved include those related to:
Conversely, those decisions that relate to the mechanics of daily living are left to the parent who is with the children at the time.
Physical custody relates to the visitation schedule by which your children split their time between the two of you. Physical custody can also be either sole or joint, but the court needs a very compelling reason for shutting down a parent’s right to at least some form of visitation with his or her children.
Sometimes, one parent becomes the primary custodial parent with whom the children spend the majority of their time, and the other parent has a visitation schedule. When it comes to physical custody, however, you can also split your time equally (or nearly equally) according to whatever schedule you and the other parent are willing to accept.
The most straightforward path forward involves you and your divorcing spouse negotiating your child custody terms between yourselves and avoiding the court’s intervention in the matter. Your seasoned child custody attorney will help you explore your options toward this end.
The judge in your case is required to consider your children’s best interests. In the process of making final decisions on the matter, however, the court will take wide-ranging factors into consideration, including:
At Virginia Family Law Center, we protect clients’ rights and help them understand the legal processes they are working through. Schedule your 30-minute telephone consultation with an experienced lawyer by filling out the form below.