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Custody

Your children are the center of your life

Establishing custody that is in the best interest of your children is your highest priority

Although the law has two types of custody, sole and joint, the court seeks to facilitate relationships with parents and rarely grants sole custody except in extreme cases where one parent is absent or unfit. The Court has a mandate from the Legislature to “frequent and continuing contact with both parents, when appropriate” and the Court takes this mandate to heart.

Joint custody has both parents involved in the physical, emotional, spiritual and moral development of their children. The court has both legal and physical custody to determine, and will create a combination that is in the child’s best interests. With joint custody, minor and emergent decisions are yielded to the physical parent at the time, but the other parent must be kept abreast, and big decisions in a child’s life needs to be signed-off by both parents. There are many ways to split a child’s time between parents, and the court considers educational objectives, emotional development and other considerations when determining what is in the child’s best interests.

Sole custody is rarely assigned, but when it is that parent makes the choices and decisions related to physical, emotional, spiritual and moral development. Even with sole custody, the other parent is still able to achieve visitation (sometimes supervised, sometimes unsupervised, sometimes none). The court is more likely to facilitate joint custody through third-party applications or individuals, rather than award sole custody.

We demonstrate that your child’s interests and your goals are aligned. Call us today at (703) 783-3039 for a consultation.

The court is guided on how to assign visitation and custody. Virginia Code §20-124.3 has 10 factors the Court is required to weigh. Of course, the 10th factor is “other factors as the court determines” which allows the court very wide latitude.

In determining custody and visitation of a child, the court weighs:

  • The child’s age, physical, and mental condition and development
  • The parents’ age, physical, and mental conditions
  • The relationship between parent and child with an eye toward emotional, intellectual and physical needs and growth
  • The other needs of the child, including access and relationship to siblings, peers, and extended family members.
  • The roles a parent has and will play
  • The facilitation and support of contact and relationship with the other parent
  • The child’s preference, when reasonable
  • The relationship between child and parent plus the ability to resolve disputes between the parents
  • History of abuse

We persuade the court by clearly articulating why you should get what you want. Call us today at (703) 783-3039 for a consultation.

Courts consider many factors

We articulate to the Court why you should have the custody you are seeking

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