Manassas Child Custody Attorneys
Visitation Rights in Northern VA
A divorce that will disrupt your children’s lives and place limits on your time with them is a heart-wrenching event. Each action you take throughout the process must be carefully considered in light of relevant laws and your unique family situation.
As you determine your approach to custody and visitation issues, you need a lawyer you can count on for empathy and clear, practical guidance. At Family Law Group, we help each client think through his or her most important parenting goals and pursue the best path forward that can help achieve them.
Contact our child custody lawyers today at (703) 552-5072
Does Virginia Favor Mothers Over Fathers for Custody?
Virginia's family court firmly believes in the best interests of the child. Mothers' and fathers' parenting ability is seen equally. The court prefers for the child to have equal time with each parent, however if one parent proves to be unfit or unable to care for the child, the court may rule sole custody to either the mother or the father.
Balanced, Determined Representation For Mothers And Fathers
Our Prince William County child custody attorneys’ knowledge and experience span a wide range of negotiated settlements and intensely contested custody cases, including both initial determinations and custody modifications. It is essential to recognize that:
- The Code of Virginia, Section 20-124.3, lists a number of distinct factors for consideration when issuing custody and visitation orders in the best interests of the child.
- Although patterns vary between jurisdictions and court officials, the focus is consistently on what is best for children today and in the future, with parents’ past contributions sometimes receiving less weight.
- The parenting plan and schedule the parties establish early in the process — and each party’s demonstrated compliance with them — are often critical.
- Parenting choices are highly personal and value-driven, and maintaining a civil, cooperative relationship with the other parent if possible should be a priority.
- Should a negotiated custody and visitation agreement prove impossible to reach, it is essential to have an experienced litigator on your side.
Legal and Physical Child Custody in Virginia
There are several different types of formal custody decisions that can be awarded in Virginia:
- Physical Custody – Determines which parent or parents the child or children live with.
- Legal Custody – Determines which parent or parents have decision-making rights regarding where kids will go to school, what (if any) type of religious beliefs children will be brought up with, what medical or dental care will be provided, how kids will be disciplined, etc.
- Sole Physical Custody – The child or children live with only one parent. In cases where sole physical custody is awarded, the non-custodial parent may be given visitation rights.
- Joint Physical Custody – The child or children split their living time between the homes of both parents.
- Sole Legal Custody – One parent is given full authority to make decisions on the part of their child or children.
- Joint Legal Custody – Both parents are involved in making decisions on the part of their child or children.
Virginia Child Visitation Laws
For parents without physical custody, visitation can be specified. The Fairfax County Courthouse reports that an agreement regarding visitation can be made informally between the two parents or formally through the courts.
A visitation schedule can specify different time with parents during the academic year, on school holidays, breaks, and family vacations. Especially when parents do not agree on things or have a difficult time communicating, it can be helpful to have a very detailed visitation plan.
Contact Our Child Custody Lawyers Today
If you are facing divorce and have children or coping with other custody-related issues, we are here to support you, help you make informed decisions and aggressively present your position in court if needed. To schedule a consultation and an in-depth analysis of your case, please contact us online, or call (703) 552-5072 today. Our offices are in Manassas and Fairfax.