How is child custody determined in Virginia? Who will get custody of my child?
In child custody cases , a judge decides on legal and physical custody. Legal custody is the ability to decide and make important decisions that may affect your child, such as schooling, health care, and religious upbringing. If one parent has physical custody, this means that the child is legally authorized to live with this parent. In the state of Virginia, a judge will take several things into consideration before deciding in favor of either parent. These include:
- Age, mental and physical state of the child;
- Mental and physical condition of each parent;
- The nature of the relationship between the child and both parents; Y
- Any history of mental or physical abuse in the family.
What is joint legal custody?
Joint legal custody means that both parents have a say in how the child is raised, regardless of who the child is living with. Parents must come to an agreement on issues such as those related to religion or education.
What is sole custody under Virginia law?
Sole custody means that only one parent has physical custody of the child and the authority to make decisions on their behalf.
The noncustodial parent has no say in any decisions that may affect the child’s education, but may have certain visitation rights.
Can a grandparent get custody of their grandparents?
If both parents are deemed unfit for custody in the Commonwealth of Virginia and it is in the best interest of the child, a grandparent may be awarded custody. Grandparents can request visitation, but must notify the custodial parent.
Does either parent pay child support if you have joint legal custody?
In Virginia, both parents are required by law to pay child support. The amount of child support paid by a parent depends on her overall income. Alimony includes medical care, food, clothing, housing, etc.
Can a custodial parent prohibit visitation if child support is not paid?
No. Child support and visitation are separate issues and are handled separately in court. A parent cannot refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid and, similarly, a parent cannot withhold child support if the custodial parent refuses to allow visitation.
Do mothers always win in sole custody cases?
No. There are no laws in Virginia that favor either parent when custody is awarded. The judge carefully studies each case and a decision is made based on the best interests of the child.
Can Custody Judgments Be Appealed in Virginia?
To appeal a custody ruling, there must be a significant change in circumstances where adjusting custody would be in the best interest of the child.
Does my child need to testify in Virginian court?
No. In the case of a no-fault (uncontested) divorce, where both parties have resolved issues related to the child with little or no issues, a child does not need to appear in court. However, if the parents cannot agree on issues related to the child, they may be asked to testify in court to decide if it is in their best interest.
If you need a Virginia child custody attorney to help you with your Virginia child custody case, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia child custody attorneys can help. C