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Joint Custody

Joint Custody Lawyer in Richmond

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Child custody issues are determined in Virginia’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts. While the best interests of children are given significant emphasis, the state’s child custody laws acknowledges joint custody since it’s important for both parents to be actively engaged in their children’s lives.

VCS § 20-124.1 defines joint custody as the following:

  • Joint physical custody – Both parents share care and physical custody of the child by alternating primary residence by days, weeks, etc
  • Joint legal custody – Both parents maintain joint responsibility for control and care of their child, granting them shared authority to make decisions regarding the well-being of their child.
  • Any blend of joint legal and joint physical custody, based on what the court considers the child’s best interest.

What is the Difference Between Joint Legal Custody and Joint Physical Custody?

Joint legal custody mainly concerns decision-making. While a primary residence is established with one parent, both parents are able to communicate and work together in order to determine important decisions regarding the child’s life.

The court will order join legal custody arrangement if the parents are capable of the following:

  • Can effectively cooperate
  • Can share responsibilities and decision-making of raising their child
  • Allow the non-custodial parent free access to the child.

On the other hand, joint physical custody enables the child to split time between both parents. This type of joint custody is less typical since the best interest of the child may be to have a steady residence according to the court, especially if one parent lives far away or in another state.

The various joint physical custody arrangements include:

  • Children living with both parents on an alternating weekly schedule
  • Children living with one parent during the school year and the other during the school breaks
  • Children living ten months with one parent and two months with the other.

Reliable & Experienced Legal Representation

If you are looking for legal counsel for a child custody or visitation case, our Richmond divorce team at the Law Office of Larry D. Catlett is capable of obtaining the outcome you desire. Due to our extensive knowledge of Virginia family law, we are prepared to help you navigate through the entire process.

Contact The Law Office of Larry D. Catlett at (804) 415-7162 today.

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