ROLE OF ATTORNEYS IN CONTESTED CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION LITIGATION
Couple with children applying for divorce needs to contemplate about child custody in advance. Contested child custody is an elaborate and intricate issue and needs an in-depth understanding. The primary focus of this article lies in contested custody. If you are facing contested child custody issues, contact the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C., as our Virginia family attorneys have contested hundreds of several cases and can help you.
The truth is contested custody cannot be in the best interest of the child; particularly when there is a collision of interest in divorce and custody. The parents often want to arrive at a reasonable settlement but the difference in opinion forces the couples to contest custody. The Virginia Family Attorney can contest custody cases without compromising on your interest.
APPRAISING A CHILD CUSTODY CASE
The family attorney in Virginia discusses the object of the case with their client focusing on the statutes without compromising on the interest of the child.
THE VIRGINIA ATTORNEY ANALYZES FACTS WHICH INCLUDE:
- The history of the parent-child relationship
- Evidence of neglect or abuse
- An understanding of the children’s health
- General welfare
- Appraising the present status quo custody agreement and the children’s future.
The Virginia Code § 20-124.3 deals with the best interests of the minor. Matters related to custody and visitation are governed by the statute and the court considers the factors mentioned in the statute. If you need any clarification on the statutes, contact a Virginia Family Attorney immediately.
DEFINE CUSTODY AND VISITATION STATUS QUO
The court maintains the status quo as far as custody is concerned. The schedule followed by the parents over a period having a favorable effect on the child can be called as status quo. The rule is simple – why disturb a process that is working out well. If you are confused with the status quo, the Virginia Family Attorney can explain it better.
In such cases, the family court judge feels that in the best interest of the child, the present arrangement should be continued as introducing a change may risk the ward’s well-being. If you want to contest the status quo, meet a reputed Virginia Family Attorney right away.
This does not mean, the family law court will maintain the same yardstick for all cases. The court may seek reasons for changing the present routine. The judge may consider a change if the present system is not working in the best interest of the minor. The custodial parent, fighting a modification request, has to discuss the issue with an experienced family attorney in Virginia to explain that the status quo is working fine for the child and no change is required.
In case you are a non-custodial parent, seek the advice of a reliable family attorney in Virginia to explain to the judge that the status quo is not in the best interest of the minor. The court may seek answers for questions such as: whether the status quo is a temporary withdrawal from the previous schedules or if the arrangement is forced despite the objection from the children or if the children have been reacting negatively to the present status quo arrangement. The Virginia family attorney will have answers to all these questions and prepare a strong case to get custody of the minor. Non-custodial parents need not adhere to the status quo and they can fight for custody with the help of a family attorney in Virginia.
The Virginia family attorneys recommend solutions to meet the needs of both parties. The judge and spouses, along with their Virginia family attorneys, will have to consider the minor’s preferences and interests while deciding on the norms related to visitation and custody.
ATTORNEYS ADDRESS CONCERNS OF A CHILD
The Virginia family attorneys always look into ending marriages fairly and peacefully. Credibility and efficiency are some of the characteristics that make Virginia family attorneys successful and competent. Virginia family attorneys enable smooth navigation through all legal processes.
The court and the Virginia family attorneys are required to take into account a set of nine factors that are recognized by the Virginia law when resolving concerns about the child. They are as follows:
- The age, the physical and psychological health conditions of the wards and the parents.
- The constantly changing developmental necessities for the child.
- The relationship of the ward with each of the parents and the couple’s capabilities to positively interact and meet all physical, emotional, and financial requirements of the child.
- The relationship between the ward with siblings, friends, family, and neighbors.
- The role of each parent in the effective upbringing of the minor.
- The spouse’s tendency in supporting and allowing, contact, and access of the child by the other.
- The willingness of each of the parents to maintain a close uninterrupted bonding with the ward and their abilities to unanimously settle disputes hindering the growth of the child.
- If the judges find the minor’s age, maturity, and understanding, sensible and reasonable, they are free to duly consider all opinions expressed by the ward.
- Records of physical, mental, and sexual abuse or violence in the family.
The court will have to consider each of these nine elements while drawing solutions and it is solely up to the court to decide on the strengths of each factor. The court can also appoint Virginia family attorneys to aid and counsel minors during the divorce process. Virginia family attorneys can also present themselves at the court in the place of the children when they are found to be too young to appear at a court and participate in its proceedings
Generally, the parents falsely believe that the court will declare judgments based on child custody by blindly adhering to the minor’s views and requirements, and thereby try bribing and threatening their child to take sides out of compulsion. The Virginia family attorneys educate parents on the ways with which custody can be acquired legally.
The judge can also reject the minor’s preference if it is not in the best interest, and at these times the assistance of Virginia family attorney can be helpful. The Virginia family law allows courts to consider all reasonable preferences put forth by the children, considering their age and experiences, which are as follows:
- Children below 12 years of age: The Virginia family attorneys regard all children under the age of 12 to be too young to deliver mature and optimistic decisions. Therefore, their preferences are given less importance while proclaiming judgments. The court also believes that it is not fair or just to make children less than 12 years testify and present themselves at the court. In these situations, a Virginia family attorney or a medical counselor is permitted to speak for the children and express their interests in the court.
- Children between the ages of 12 and 14: The court initially ensures whether the child is mature enough to understand and reflect upon the aftermath of its opinions. Children falling into this age group are likely to be influenced easily and thus the court assures if the decisions made by the ward were out of its best interests or compulsion. The judge will also keenly observe the ways with which the parents persuade their child to take sides.
- Children between 14 – 16 years of age: The court will look into the educational records, behavior, maturity of the minors, and their relationship with their parents. The judge fairly conceives all needs of the children and at the same time looks into what would be the best for them.
- Children aged between 16 – 18: The court and the Virginia family attorneys view children of these ages as mature individuals to handle all situations; therefore, their preferences are considered while coming up with resolutions.
A common man will never be aware of all these legal procedures and therefore it is advisable to contact the best Virginia family attorneys for legal help. Virginia family attorneys produce the best legal representations at the court. Further, the Virginia family attorneys are highly affordable as well. It is important to engage Virginia family attorneys having rich experience and knowledge in handling divorce cases. Virginia family attorneys provide support and assistance to their clients legally and emotionally.
IMPACT OF CHILD ABUSE ON CHILD CUSTODY
A parent, with a record of child abuse or domestic violence, when competing for joint or physical custody of a minor will have to face a tough fight. The court while determining custody seeks past instances of family abuses as mentioned in the Virginia Code § 20-124.3(9). If you still want custody, it is time you approach an experienced Virginia family attorney.
ATTORNEYS CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING ASPECTS WHILE DEALING WITH CHILD ABUSE CUSTODY CASE:
- Has the abuse been proved in the court
- Was there a witness
- Who reported the abuse
- When was the abuse reported by the parent
- Any criminal charges filed against the accused
- Was there use of drugs or alcohol during the abuse
- Was the parent mentally ill to lose discipline
- Did the parent take responsibility for the abuse and what were the preventive steps taken
- Was it a habitual or isolated incident
- Relationship of the child with the abusive parent
- Did the abuse have a lasting effect on the child
The Virginia family attorney will consider all the above factors before putting up a fight. Irrespective of whether you are accused of being an abusive parent or believe your child has been abused by your partner, it is best to seek the advice of a well-renowned family attorney in Virginia. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. has immense experience in custody cases and can work a solution for you. Family courts do not take child abuse cases lightly; therefore, having a competent family attorney with relevant experience in Virginia could be an added advantage.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PARENTS
The communication channel between the parents has to be open for effective co-parenting. If you have difficulty communicating with one another, use the services of the Virginia Family Attorney. Communication can solve many issues and it is true when it comes to legal custody. The parents have to communicate with one another to make crucial decisions about the minor’s future. It is at these times a leading Virginia Family Attorney can help.
If the court feels the parents are refusing to engage in fruitful communication, the judge may award the legal custody to one parent to ensure decisions are taken at the right time regarding the future of the children. If you want to contest the decision, the assistance of a learned Virginia Family Attorney is recommended. This is elaborated in Virginia Code § 20-124.3(6). The law encourages communication and co-parenting and a parent unwilling to communicate will not be fit for sole or joint custody of the child. If you are having communication issues with your spouse, contact a capable family attorney in Virginia.
Though the term is not defined by the Virginia law, it can be called as being uncooperative as to affect the relationship of the child with one of the parents. Such acts of wrongdoing are not taken casually by the family court. Depending on the intensity of the misbehavior the court may take necessary action. If you are facing this situation, contact the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. to discuss the possibilities of custody. Our family attorney in Virginia has handled similar cases successfully.
Parental hostility or those breeding hostility between the other parent and the child is a serious concern and courts do not take it nonchalantly. This could lead to harsh repercussions. Do not wait for any further and contact Virginia family attorney for advice.
A spouse interfering with the parental rights of the other and being uncooperative may not lead to change in custody rights but it will amount to contempt of court. If you are about to lose your custody privileges, engage the Virginia Family Attorney without wasting time. The parenting time and joint legal custody ordered by the court are mandates and cannot be taken as recommendations. Violation of custody order results in sanctions, jail, and fines. If you are violating a custody order, do not delay any further, contact Virginia family attorney.
BONDING TIME WITH THE CHILD
An elaborate description of the status quo has been discussed already in this article. As per the law in Virginia, § 20-124.3(3) specifies the court to consider the ability of the parent to evaluate the intellectual, physical, and emotional needs of the child. An elaborate explanation of the law can be given by the Virginia Family Attorney.
The court generally assumes that a parent with a better understanding of the child’s requirements will be well placed to meet their needs. If bonding issues are causing problems in getting custody, request a Virginia Family Attorney to strengthen your case.
To take it further, the judge may also consider the bonding between the parent and the child. Bonding cannot be limited to the time spent face to face, it also includes meaningful time. Bonding may vary depending on the age of the child, maturity, personality, stability, and temperament. To know more about bonding in a custody case, get in touch with the Virginia Family Attorney. Parents with poor bonding with the child may find it tough to win a custody and visitation case. Those parents facing bonding issues and yet want custody or visitation need to contact an experienced family attorney in Virginia.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL AND LEGAL CUSTODY
In the case of legal custody, the parent is given the right to take legal decisions for the child. Any issue involving safety, education, health, and welfare of the child taken together by both the spouses is termed as joint legal custody. Fighting for joint legal custody? Our Virginia Family Attorney at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C., will be the ideal choice. In co-parenting, one parent should not decide the child’s future without the knowledge and approval of the other. The Virginia Family Attorney can give a detailed description of legal custody.
Parents are not coherent when it comes to deciding on issues about their wards even in joint legal custody. To protect your case from getting weakened it is best to meet the Virginia Family Attorney. It also does not mean that mutual consent is required concerning the activities of the children. Whenever there is disagreement, one of the parents either compromises or consults a family attorney in Virginia.
Sometimes the disagreement can take them to the court and the assistance of the Virginia Family Attorney becomes inevitable. There may be instances where one parent is capable of handling decisions about medical or education better and the court can make some changes in the legal custody in such cases. If you want to contest such decisions, engage Virginia Family Attorney without fail.
Joint physical custody is similar to visitation. It divides the responsibility of the parents equally. Parents seeking a significant amount of time with the child find joint physical custody the right option, and your Virginia Family Attorney will explain it need not necessarily be 50:50. The law permits continuous and frequent contact with the child in a custody case. To understand the nuances of the law on joint physical custody, meet the Virginia Family Attorney.
GETTING THE BEST ATTORNEY
The ultimate aim of the law is to ensure the parents share the raising of the child unless an order is given in the best interest of the child to one parent. The Virginia Family Attorney at all times works towards solving the case amicably. The law does not define continuous and frequent contact rule, it is the discretion of the parents to determine visitation. If you are facing problems with the visitation or want to modify the visitation, the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C., is the right choice. Our Virginia Family Attorney can play a pivotal role in helping you regain your rights.
Our Virginia family attorneys are here to help you – Call us at 888-437-7747. C