Resolve Your Virginia Child Custody Case While Keeping Your Child’s Best Interests In Mind
Few areas of family law stir up emotions the way child custody does, whether as part of a divorce or as a case between unmarried parents. Parents naturally realize that their parent-child relationships will be impacted by the amount and quality of time that they can spend with their children.
At Randall & Bruch, PC, our Virginia family law attorneys represent parents in all types of child custody cases, including those involving modifications and enforcements.
Who Will Decide Your Family’s Fate?
Ideally, you and the other parent should be able to reach an agreement on a child custody or parenting time plan that works best for all of you. Your case may be resolved in one of the following ways:
- Collaborative law sessions
Of these options, a trial is the least attractive, because in a trial, a judge who does not know your family will be the one to make decisions that will greatly affect your family going forward. Nonetheless, if parents can’t come to an agreement, then a trial may be necessary.
Factors That Can Determine Child Custody
You can expect a family law judge to pay close attention to the following factors while your child custody case is under consideration:
- The age and health of the child (or children)
- The age and physical and mental health of the parents
- The strength of the parent-child relationship with each parent
- Factors involving siblings, peers and extended family members
- The parents’ respective support for each other’s ongoing relationship with the child
- The parents’ ability to cooperate and resolve disputes as they arise
- The child’s stated preferences if they are old enough for their opinions to be taken into account
Different Child Custody Agreements
However your parenting plan is determined, it will be expressed in a court order laying out one of the following arrangements:
- Joint physical and legal custody, whereby the child may live with one or both of you for specified lengths of time, and both of you will retain decision-making powers
- Sole physical and legal custody if either parent is totally absent, unfit or unwilling to assume parenting duties most of the time
Our lawyers can help you pursue a custody plan that suits your needs best.
Is It Possible to Modify Custody and Visitation in Virginia?
Custody and visitation matters are never permanently settled until the children become adults. As children grow and circumstances change, a modification of custody and visitation may be required.
Virginia law allows for a modification of custody or visitation when (1) there has been a material change in circumstances and (2) a change in custody or visitation would be in the best interest of the child. Our attorneys can help you determine if you are eligible for a modification and help you pursue it.
What Types Of Visitation Are There?
There are two basic types of visitation or parenting time a parent may have in an agreement or a court order.
- Unsupervised: Parenting time that allows a parent time with their children without requiring anyone else accompanying the parent and their children.
- Supervised: Parenting time that requires a third party to be present during all visits between the parent and their children.
Visitation may be in-person or by electronic means such as Zoom, FaceTime or via telephone calls.
Every case is unique, and there is no guarantee of which form of visitation a parent may receive, but our attorneys can help you pursue an option that works best.
Can A Child Choose Who They Live With?
No matter how mature a child may seem or how aware of the situation they may be, Virginia courts do not allow children to choose which parent they want to primarily live with. However, a court can take the child’s preference into consideration when coming to its own decision, if the child is of reasonable intelligence, understanding and age.
How Our Team Can Help You
At Randall & Bruch, PC, you will not feel like just another case in our file cabinet. When you come to us for help, our child custody attorneys will take the time to develop a personalized representation plan that reflects your unique legal needs. Whether it involves negotiating for a custody agreement that you and your children deserve or modifying or enforcing an agreement, you can rest easy that our lawyers will be doing everything they can to help you and your family.
To Discuss Your Child Custody Case With A Virginia Family Law Attorney
Our lawyers have 85 combined years of experience. Drawing on this wealth of knowledge, one of them can help you negotiate a move-away, pursue a custody modification and/or get help enforcing a custody order.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call 757-742-6115 or email us. From our primary Virginia office locations in Southampton, Emporia, Brunswick and Suffolk, our attorneys are ready to assist you.