Get information about Child Custody in Virginia!
If you have children and are dealing with a disagreement with the other parent, you may not know where to turn. You may have several questions running through your mind…Who has the final say if we can’t reach an agreement? Can the other parent take custody of the child without my permission? If they do, what are my options?
There are many emotions and questions that can run through your mind when you find yourself in the middle of a custody battle. Most of us want to protect our children at all costs, but you don’t want to make things harder for yourself down the line. You need to know what you rights are as a parent, as well as what your responsibilities are with respect to the other parent.
That’s why I’m glad you are here. Even if you are not ready to hire an attorney, I hope you will find lots of good information here that will answer at least some of your questions. Check out the link below to get my FREE Book on Child Custody in Virginia. Yes…it’s FREE.
I want to provide you with information that can help you sort through your situation, so you will understand your options and be able to make good choices for your family.
First, I want to let you know without a doubt that ALL FAMILIES ARE DIFFERENT. Your particular family situation may not look like an episode of the Cosby Show, or Leave It to Beaver – and that’s ok! Not many families do these days! The important thing to focus on when working through issues of child custody is actually the same things the court considers when deciding issues of child custody: THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.
That’s right – Virginia courts make decisions based on the child’s “best interests.” How do they determine what is in the best interest of the child? The Virginia statute (Section 20-124.3 of the Code of Virginia) establishes several factors to consider:
- The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs;
- The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
- The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
- The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;
- The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;
- The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
- The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;
- Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and
- Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.
These factors may not seem straightforward to you at first glance, but we can help you sort through the practical meaning of the above factors. The important thing to remember is the need to put your own personal feelings about the other parent behind, and think of your child (or children). So often, kids lose out on beneficial relationships with one parent because the other parent cannot move past hurt feelings, or betrayals that may have occurred between the two adults.
If I become your attorney (which happens only by a written agreement signed by each of us) one thing I will periodically remind you to do is to keep thinking about what is best for your child. We can talk about the other parent’s issues, shortcomings, or even why it didn’t work between the two of you. BUT…if those things have NOTHING to do with your child, I will listen, nod, and eventually I will kindly say to you “I totally see why you’re not with that person – it completely makes sense. Now let’s talk about [insert your child’s name here].”
If you’re looking for ANYTHING else…including an attorney who is going to be unfair, unreasonable, or who will let you drive your own case into the ground because you’re determined to let your emotions rule you, I’m probably not the one you want to represent you. That is fine! No hard feelings!
On the other hand, if you want an aggressive attorney who will stand with you and for you, maybe we should talk. If you’re walking through a difficult situation, and you realize that you may need someone to remind you of what is TRUE, to re-focus your attention back to your child when the other parent pulls their latest stunt, then let’s sit down for your consultation and talk through your specific situation.
If you have questions, our firm is available to speak with you directly. Contact my office to speak with me personally. Our conversation will be completely confidential, and you just might walk away with answers to the questions that are keeping you up at night. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by accessing our FREE information, or by choosing to speak with an attorney right now, with NO OBLIGATION.
Call us at 804-572-4356 for a confidential conversation about your specific situation. The consultation is an investment of $50, which is the fraction of the cost that most law firms charge.
NOT READY TO TALK? Download my FREE book on CHILD CUSTODY AND CHILD SUPPORT IN VIRGINIA here and work through it at your own pace. Whenever you are ready – we’ll be right here.