How Do Virginia Courts Make Child Custody and Visitation Decisions?
Child custody and visitation issues are some of the most difficult aspects of divorce. You need an experienced and caring family law attorney to give you the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your children, now and for the years ahead. Marcy Jones is that attorney in Lynchburg and in Bedford, Amherst and Campbell Counties. The decisions you make now, will affect you and your children for the rest of your life. Make good child custody and visitation decisions with Marcy’s help.
In deciding child custody and visitation, Virginia courts look at a number of factors. Ultimately, the decision is based on what a judge determines to be “in the best interests of the child.” How does the judge determine what the best interests of the child are?
Best Interests of the Child Factors Considered by Virginia Courts
The factors considered by a Virginia court usually include the following:
- The age and physical and mental condition of the child, as well as the child’s changing developmental needs;
- The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
- The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, and the parent’s ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
- The needs of the child, including important relationships of the child, such as those with siblings, peers and extended family members;
- The role that each parent has played, and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;
- The tendency of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
- The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;
- Any history of family abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the tendency of the parents to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other; and
- Other factors the court determines are important.
Lynchburg Family Law Attorney Marcy Jones has extensive experience handling child custody and visitation cases, during a divorce or after a divorce. Her training and experience in mediation and collaborative law also help her help her clients find solutions to child custody and visitation problems.
Please call 434-845-2463 or use her contact form to make an appointment to talk about your child custody situation with Marcy. Become informed of your options and the likely outcomes in child custody and visitation to help you make better decisions during your divorce and after your divorce.
The Best Child Custody and Visitation Agreements Usually Come from Parents
Usually the best result for the parents and the children is an agreement governing child custody and visitation that’s developed by the parents. In most cases, no matter how hard the judge tries to be fair, it’s impossible for the judge to know the children and their best interests as well as the parents. Whether through the collaborative divorce process or with the help of her years of experience, Marcy will work with you to develop a fair and workable child custody and visitation agreement that makes co-parenting easier, rather than harder. Call Marcy at 434-845-2463 to learn more.
Are you wondering what the difference is between joint custody and sole custody? Is sole custody usually the best choice for you and your children? Marcy can help you with answers to these questions and more if you call 434-845-2463 today!