In a divorce, Virginia parents are often most concerned about how this decision will impact their kids. Child custody is often one of the most complex and possibly contentious issues parents will have to work through, and a parent would be wise to approach this process with a clear understanding of his or her rights. It is also helpful to have an understanding of how custody and visitation works and how courts make decisions on these matters.
What will happen to the kids?
Parents are not always able to reach an out-of-court agreement regarding a custody and visitation schedule. They may find that they do not agree about specific things, and as a result, a court may have to make these important decisions. Some of the specific things a family court may consider when determining the best interests of the child include:
- The wishes and preferences of the child
- Physical and mental health of each parent
- Cultural considerations and religion
- Ability of a parent to provide a stable home environment
- Any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse
- Interaction and relationship with other members of the household
A custody ruling will detail both physical custody and legal custody, referring to the parent’s time with his or her kids and the right to make important decisions for the child.
A parent’s rights
Virginia parents do not have to navigate child custody matters alone. They may find it helpful to speak with an experienced family law attorney regarding how they can effectively pursue child custody. An assessment of their individual case will reveal the specific options available to them.