Child custody is a contentious issue in most divorces. You are close to your children, and so is your spouse. Perhaps the divorce process has made your feelings towards your children even more intense, and you cannot imagine not having them live in your home or spending time away from you. Virginia has specific laws regarding child custody that put the best interests of the children as the standard by which decisions are made. Whether you are going through a divorce or need to modify your child custody orders, an experienced Virginia Beach child custody attorney has the means and knowledge to help you.
Custody to twofold in Virginia, legal and physical. The state of Virginia has several different custody solutions available to help parents and children remain close. It is essential that you understand these solutions and work with your Virginia Beach child custody lawyer to determine which ones might be the best fit for your children and your desires. Keep in mind the courts will always make the decisions based upon the best interests of the children and not the desires of either parent.
Legal custody pertains to the responsibility for the care and authority of your children. Legal custody is different from physical custody. . If both parents have legal custody, they will need to work together to make decisions that are best for their children. If the court determines it is in the best interest of the children for one parent to have legal custody an award of sole legal custody may be made by the judge.
In this arrangement, both parents share physical custody of the children. If one parent has the minor children for more than 91 days this is defined as shared custody. Joint/Share custody in its purest form is a 50/50 division which can be done by alternating weeks or even coming up with more creative schedules to suit everyone’s needs.
When the judge orders sole custody, only one parent is granted physical custody as well as the authority to make decisions about the health and welfare of the child, including educational and religious decisions. The parent without custody can seek to have visitation with the children.
In some custody cases, the parents can reach an agreement about the legal and physical custody of their children. This gives them more control over their situation. The judge will review the agreement to ensure the best interests of the child will be met in the agreement. If it does, the orders will be based on that agreement. Your Virginia Beach child custody attorney can help you negotiate an agreement that works for your entire family and is approved by the court.
Filing for custody of your child or responding to such a custody claim can be emotionally draining. You likely have many worries about how your parenting life will look in the future and even more so about what is best for your children. It is best to let a Virginia Beach child custody lawyer handle these intense matters. If you have questions or concerns about child custody in Virginia, the attorneys at Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC, can help. Contact us to schedule your child custody consultation today with one of our skilled attorneys.