Often the most emotional issue in a divorce is child custody. Even when parents no longer wish to see one another on a regular basis, each will likely want to continue to be involved in their child’s life.
The law divides custody into legal custody (each parent’s right to make important decisions for the child) and physical custody (where the child will be primarily physically present with one parent or the other).
In Virginia, the strong trend is for parents to have joint legal custody and to ensure that children have substantial time with both their parents.
One of the key decisions to be made in on the issue of physical custody is establishing a custodial schedule. A custodial schedule will establish times and rules for the child’s stays with both parents. Sometimes one parent in the primary physical custodian and has a majority of the custodial access to the child. Other times parents will have a more equal or shared custodial schedule where each parent has the child for fairly equivalent periods of time.
At Marquis Law Group, we desire to resolve custody issues as amicably as possible, with consideration for how stressful the situation can be for both the parents and child. We are mindful that the law requires the best interests of the child to always come first. We work to achieve the right balance through negotiation and mediation before resorting to litigation.
High-conflict child custody issues may require litigation when the parties are unable to co-parent effectively or home environments with:
- Alcoholism or drug addictions
- Domestic violence of any kind
- Sexual or physical abuse
- Mental illness
- Other indications of unfitness
We work with clients to make parenting plans that work and modify child custody and visitation orders, including plans for relocation to another area. We also represent clients opposing these changes.
Custody and visitation are complex legal subjects, made more intricate by the thousands of court rulings in and out of Virginia that may have a bearing on your case.
If you have a child custody concern or want to better understand your specific legal options, schedule a consultation now.