Child Custody Virginia Lawyer-Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange, Culpeper

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During the initial separation and after a final divorce, parents will often seek child custody orders.

Since the future of who the children will live with and where the children will live is often uncertain during the intial separation and the added stress of your ongoing divorce, emotions run high and the possibility of significant conflict exist. By working with our dedicated and proven child care lawyers in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia you can be sure that the wellbeing of you and your children is our priority. There are many child custody options in Virginia. From our offices in Fairfax, Fredericksburg & Richmond, our lawyers at the Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. will work with you to help you try and an agreement as to your children that takes into account your schedule, duties, and other responsibilities.

Types of child custody in Virginia

Virginia has legal and physical custody. Custody has to do with who has to make important decisions in the child’s life, e.g. primarily medical and educational decisions.

The courts in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia will normally issue “joint custody” if both parents are able to make informed decisions about the child. In this situation, the court assumes that both parents in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange or Culpeper, Virginia can work together to make good decisions for their child. If one of the parents cannot make sound legal decisions or if the parents cannot work together, the court grants child custody to only one of the parents. This is the sole custody. Custody has to do with which parent the child lives with every day.

There are several types of child custody under the Virginia Law:

Sole custody – A parent assumes the sole responsibility for the child’s emotional, physical, and moral development. The type of authority is defined under Virginia Code 20-124.1. Sole custody states that only one parent is the one who is fully responsible for the upbringing of the child. Our Virginia lawyers who regularly handle family law cases in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper can tell you what is required to obtain sole custody in Virginia.

Primary child custody – In most cases in Virginia, the court will delegate physical custody to one of the parents. This means that the child lives with this parent and the other parent visits the child regularly.

Shared child custody – In Virginia, both parents has custody of the child for a minimum of 91 days or more during the year. Under these guidelines for mutual support, the primary parent generally receives less child benefit than under the regular guidelines for child benefit, since it is assumed that the child has two homes and each parent must therefore provide a high amount of support.

Split child custody – Split custody exists if there is more than one child and one parent have custody of at least one but not all children and the other parent has custody of the other children. Split custody is not common as it is preferred that all children live together.

How do the courts decide who the children live with in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia? The following are some of the most common factors that Virginia courts use to determine child custody in Virginia:

The status quo – The status quo is powerful. A judge almost always stands by what the children feel most comfortable with. The parent who stays at home usually has the upper hand where the children are happiest.

Primary caregiver – A judge will most likely want to know who the primary caregiver was when you were married or living together. Things like taking the kids to school and picking them up, helping with homework, taking them to the doctor, going to bed, washing, and more are sometimes factors that a judge uses to determine custody.

The parent-child relationship The parent who has the strongest bond with the children will usually who the children will end up living with primarily. A parent who regularly takes the kids along for hiking or after school activities could have an advantage here. The parent-child relationship factor is very difficult to quantify.

Cooperation

One parent can choose to strike back at the other parent or try to make their life miserable by making the other parent’s life difficult. If proven in court, a judge can grant custody to the parent who is most likely to “cooperate” and will engage in good decision making as to the enable the children to have a good relationship with the other parent.

Reasonable Preference Of The Child

In Virginia, the judge can take “reasonable preferences” into account when making custody decisions. This basically means that the child or children may have the say whether they stay with mom or dad.

History of violence or abuse

This factor is simple. A court will not place a child in a situation where there is a history of violence or abuse that may result in harm or violence to the child.

Our family law lawyers in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia have experience in custody disputes with:

  • Divorce of the parents in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Unmarried parents in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Grandparents’ rights in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Military personnel in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Changes or Modification of custody or visitation in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Enforcement of visitation and child support in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse modification in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Adoptions for stepparents in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper, Virginia.
  • Paternity disputes in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Orange & Culpeper.

Contact us in Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Richmond. You may need legal advice and representation on custody and visitation issues in Virginia. Then our family law lawyers can help you. We will work with you to find a solution that will benefit your children. Contact us today in Fairfax, Fredericksburg or Richmond at 888-437-7747 to speak to an experienced family law attorney at the Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. C