Virginia Child Custody Law

Parents who are considering divorce are probably concerned about child custody and visitation rights and how these issues are resolved within the divorce. Child custody and visitation rights can be decided by an agreement between the divorcing couple or by the courts. If an agreement is decided upon it will usually be with the help of attorneys and mediators. However, if an agreement cannot be reached between the parents, usually a family court judge will play a role in making decisions.

The below are terms related to child custody roles in Virginia:

  • Joint Legal Custody – Both parents hold responsibility for the care and authority of the child/children. This is still the case regardless of where the child spends the majority of her time.
  • Joint Physical Custody – Both parents share physical custody and care for the child/children. This usually requires the parents to alternate weeks or months that the child spends with them.
  • Sole Custody – One parent has physical custody of the child/children. Also, that parent has the authority to make all decisions in regards to the child. The non-custodial parent may seek visitation.

As stated before, if an agreement of child custody cannot be reached between the parents, the court will decide the best type of custody that is beneficial for the child. The court can give significant weight to the child’s own wishes before determining custody. Also, a visitation schedule will be appointed by the court if the divorcing couple is unable to agree on one.

Changes to Child Custody

Child custody or visitation can also be changed by an agreement between both parents and by the court. If both parents can come to an agreement on changing the custody arrangement then the court is most likely to agree to it. However, the court will not agree to any changes to the visitation schedule if there is believed to be fraud or coercion involved in the agreement, or if the court has convincing evidence that making changes to the schedule would not be beneficial to the child.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act was adopted and passed in Virginia and other States. This act was to help enforce child custody orders to prevent noncustodial parents from taking their child or children across state lines with enforcement of the law.

Contact the Experienced Child Custody Attorneys at Riley Law, PLLC

You need the experience that the Virginia child custody & visitation attorneys with Riley Law, PLLC have to help you through the process to everyone’s benefit. We have extensive experience in all forms of family law and diligently help our client’s through the complexity that the child custody process often presents.

We have handled Virginia child custody and visitation cases in all surrounding Hampton Roads court jurisdictions including the Virginia Peninsula cities and counties of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson/York County, Williamsburg; all Southside courts in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Isle of Wight.

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