Dedicated Virginia Child Custody Attorneys Assist Parents
Hamptons Roads firm works to establish a healthy environment for kids
When parents of minor children divorce, the judge sets forth an order governing child custody and visitation terms. Though their romantic relationship might be over, it is usually best for parents to collaborate on a plan that addresses legal authority, residence and scheduling of time with their sons and daughters. At Hunter Law Firm, we are accomplished southeast Virginia family law attorneys who offer personalized guidance to help clients protect their parental rights and establish a supportive environment for their children. With offices in Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake and Gloucester, we have the experience, skill and compassion to develop effective parenting time plans through negotiation or, if necessary, courtroom advocacy.
Lawyers handle issues relating to legal authority, residence and visitation
Each young person is unique and deserves the support of both parents. Developing an appropriate framework for parenting after a divorce requires close attention to various issues, such as:
- Legal custody — Going forward, parents who no longer live together need to determine how to make important decisions involving their children. The authority that parents have to make these choices is referred to as legal custody. Often, this responsibility is shared so that both parents have a say in their child’s medical treatment, education and religious upbringing. If you are worried that joint legal custody might not be in your son or daughter’s best interests, we can advise on whether a court might grant this authority solely to you.
- Physical custody — Even when parents agree that their child should spend a good deal of time in each home, one might be awarded primary physical custody to make school registration and other matters simpler. However, in situations where both parents live in close proximity, a son or daughter could spend at least 90 days per year in both residences in a shared custody arrangement. Couples with multiple children sometimes decide that it is best to split custody, with each parent having primary physical custody of at least one child.
- Parenting time — Under Virginia law, a child should have frequent, meaningful contact with both parents. We assist parents with the creation and enforcement of parenting time schedules that honor this principle and are tailored to the situation. Regardless of whether you are the parent seeking visitation or you have primary physical custody, our firm strives to achieve a resolution that properly addresses issues such as holidays, school vacations and transportation between homes.
Strong legal counsel when establishing custody arrangements can lead to clear guidelines and positive relations for years to come.
Factors used by judges in custody determinations
As in other states, Virginia courts are required to make decisions on custody and visitation based on what is in the best interests of the child. Of course, parents often have sharp disagreements about what is best. Should the decision go to a judge, he or she can examine any relevant information, including factors mentioned within the Code of Virginia, such as:
- The child’s age, physical and mental condition
- Each parent’s relationship with the child and their involvement in the child’s daily life
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to support the other’s relationship with their child
- Any history of domestic abuse
- The child’s preference, if they are of sufficient age and intelligence to make a mature choice
Our family law attorneys take the time to learn about the particular needs of our clients’ sons and daughters so that we can advocate for a parenting plan that gives young people the best chance to thrive.
Contact a Virginia family law attorney regarding your child custody concerns
Hunter Law Firm advises Virginia clients on child custody and visitation matters. We have offices located in Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake and Gloucester. For a consultation regarding your situation and options, please call 757-825-0400 or contact us online.