Richmond Child Custody Attorneys
Protect Your Rights to Your Children
When it comes to divorce, child custody can be one of the most complicated and emotional processes to work through. If you are seeking representation for a child custody or visitation case in Richmond, VA, you can count on our team at Catlett, Dillon, & Piper, PLLC to assist you. We are prepared to guide you through the entire process and ensure you have a thorough understanding of the legalities surrounding your unique situation. Should you choose to hire us, we can help determine the most suitable course of action to protect the best interests of your children and secure a favorable outcome. Our team truly cares about your family's needs and will do everything we can to achieve your goals.
How Is Child Custody Determined?
In the state of Virginia, the well-being of the child is of the utmost importance in child custody and visitation cases. Judges are required to maintain frequent and regular contact between the child and both parents, to ensure the child/children will be taken care of both financially and emotionally in the future.
The following factors can affect the decision-making process when child custody is being determined:
- Physical and mental health of the parents
- The parent's relationship with the child/children
- Education level and work skills of the parents
- Parent's current work and financial situation
- Each parent's motivation for seeking custody
At Catlett, Dillon, & Piper, PLLC, our dedicated Richmond lawyers can help you evaluate your own situation and make improvements to help you achieve the level of child custody you are seeking.
Joint Custody in Virginia
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.
Difference Between Joint Legal Custody & Joint Physical Custody in Virginia?
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 that affect the child’s life.
The court will order a joint legal custody arrangement if the parents:
- 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.
Small Firm Attention. Large Firm Results.
As Richmond attorneys, we have helped countless clients for over 40 years receive the visitation rights they need to be able to see their child on a regular basis - even if the situation must be handled through litigation in court.
A divorce can be emotionally draining, and child custody and visitation arrangements often cause additional stress. With an in-depth understanding of the Virginia family law system, we devote plenty of attention to every case to help our clients reach favorable outcomes. If your spouse is contesting your visitation rights, we stand ready to defend your rights in court, and will always focus on the best interests of your child. With the skill to take on even the most complex cases, we offer the counsel you can rely on from start to finish.