Virginia Child Custody Lawyer

It has become more common in recent years for children to have two homes because their parents decide to divorce and live separately. Determining a child’s primary residence is one of the most important elements of a divorce case. Custody agreements can be informal or court-mandated, but they are generally constructed to allow a couple’s children to spend time with both parents.

If you are in need of a comprehensive parenting plan, or if your current child custody agreement is no longer working, it may be wise to hire an attorney. A Virginia child custody lawyer who has experience with issues could take on your unique case.

Types of Child Custody

Shared parenting in Virginia may involve several types of custody, and one parent may hold more than one kind. Custody is defined as the “care, control, and maintenance of a child, and also refers to visitation. Many parents share joint legal custody, which means that both of them share responsibility for the care of the children. They may both make important decisions about the children with regard to choices of school, healthcare, and activities.

Physical custody refers to a child’s primary residence. In some cases, a child may live with both parents, but on different days.

Conversely, sole custody means that only one parent cares for and makes decisions for the children. However, sole custody may be accompanied by the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights. A Virginia child custody attorney could explain the implications of each type of custody during consultations with individual parents.

Parenting Plans in Virginia

State law contains many relevant statutes for parents seeking a child-sharing agreement. Such agreements provide a clear roadmap that parents can study when making plans for their children.

A parenting plan may outline the weekdays and weekends that the children will spend with each parent. Additionally, parties may memorialize on paper which holidays will be spent with whom. Details may include pick-up and drop-off times, as well as the places where the exchanges of the children will occur. A child custody lawyer in Virginia may be able to share some examples of how an agreement of this nature might be structured.

Child Custody Modification

Children’s interests and schedules may change as they grow. Additionally, a parent may move farther away or might change jobs or schedules. This means that the terms of a child custody order may cease to be workable within a new situation.

Virginia allows parents to petition the court for a modification to a current child custody order. When considering whether to alter a child custody agreement, the court will consider whether there has been a material change in circumstances. It will also attempt to make the best interest of the children a priority when deliberating on the custody arrangement.

When determining the best interest of children, a court may weigh several factors, including the desires of each child, each parent’s relationship with them, and the need for consistency.

Let a Virginia Child Custody Attorney Assist You

Sharing children with an estranged partner can be difficult at times, and you might worry whether your current plan is what is best for your family’s situation. If you need legal assistance or want to brainstorm a new parenting plan, it may be helpful to speak with legal counsel. Make an appointment to speak with a Virginia child custody lawyer by calling our office today.