Winchester Child Custody Lawyers
Guiding You Through The Child Custody Procedures in Virginia
Many of our clients want to know what is taken into account when determining child custody. First, child custody is loosely defined as the determination of which parent gets legal and/or physical guardianship over their child after a divorce. Next, it is important to understand the goal of child custody, which is the child’s best interests.
Divorce can be a messy, emotionally-traumatic situation for everyone involved, but it is arguably most devastating for the child. The goal of the courts is to minimize this as much as possible when considering matters of child custody and support.
When determining which parent will retain custody of the child, the courts will take into consideration the following:
- Age, health, and mental state of the child and the parents
- The child’s needs and relationship with both parents and siblings
- The backgrounds of family members—including history of abuse
Additionally, if the child is older than 14, their choice may be given weight in the decision, unless it is unreasonable.
If you are currently facing a troubling child custody battle, make sure that you have a skilled Winchester family law attorney on your side. At Amable Law, our legal team has years of experience and we are ready to utilize this on your behalf to protect not only your rights and interests but your child's as well.
Our firm is standing by for your call. Schedule a consultation today at (540) 739-2001!
Different Types of Custody in Virginia
Custody is not as simple and straightforward as who keeps the child. There are different types of custody to provide multiple options for different family situations including:
- Joint Physical Custody- In an ideal situation, joint custody is where both parents retain guardianship over the child. This is the most appealing option because it allows the child’s relationship with both parents to continue. In joint custody, a child splits his or her time living with both parents. The specifics of joint custody, such as where the child spends his or her holidays, are determined in mediation between the parents and their lawyers.
- Joint Legal Custody- It may end up being in the child’s best interests to live with one parent (with visitation privileges for the other parent), but be under the legal guardianship of both parents. In joint legal custody, both parents still have the right to represent the minor, such as in making educational, religious, and medical decisions on their behalf.
- Sole Custody- In this category of child custody, only one parent retains legal and physical guardianship of the child. The parent with sole custody is in charge of housing, day-to-day, and legal decisions for the child. The other parent may qualify for visitation privileges.
Can a Father Get Full Custody in Virginia?
In Virginia, a father can get full custody in Virginia. Virginia courts can also grant sole custody to a single parent if parents are entirely are unable to communicate or agree with each other. If a parent alienates the other parent or denies access to the child, the court will have grounds for granting sole custody to the other parent. In addition, a court may award sole legal custody when one parent has abused a child or is otherwise deemed unfit in some way. While one parent may be awarded sole physical custody, it is most often the case that the other parent will be awarded some type of visitation. Due Virginia’s public policy, a court is not likely to completely sever a parent’s right to see their child. Even when one parent is deemed unfit due to addiction, mental health issues, abuse, or some other reason – a court is still likely to award restricted or supervised visitation between that parent and the child. Custody determinations are fact specific.
Understanding Child Support
Child support is the term for court-ordered payments to be made by a parent to support their child. In the case of sole custody, for example, the parent without custody of the child may be required to make payments to support the raising of the child, since it is assumed that the parent with custody will be helping to pay for the child’s day to day expenses.
Expenses that are included in a support order may be expected to cover:
- Health insurance
- Child care expenses
- Travel expenses for visitation
- Medical needs
Let Our Winchester Child Custody Lawyer Help You
The thought of losing custody your child is a frightening proposition for any parent. Amable Law understands and we are ready to help you. Let us provide you with the personal attention and skilled representation that you deserve. Our firm is with you every step of the entire process or until you obtain the most favorable results possible.
For more information on Virginia child custody and support or to get started with a consultation, contact our child custody attorney in Winchester at (540) 739-2001.