Williamsburg Child Custody Lawyer
Working to Protect Your Child’s Best Interests
At Woodmere Law, P.L.L.C., we understand that your child is the most important thing in your life. When navigating a divorce or separating from the other parent of your child, the issue of child custody is one of great concern. Because of this, our Williamsburg child custody attorney works with clients to protect the best interests and well-being of their children. With more than a decade of legal experience, Attorney Paul Freeman can answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you find personalized legal strategies for you, your child, and your family.
How is Child Custody Determined in Virginia?
The biggest factor that determines which parent gets custody of the child is the role that you played in raising the child and your future role in raising the child. The judge also looks at the following factors:
The mental state and age of the child
Age and mental state of each parent
The child’s relationship with each parent
The child’s needs
Child’s best interests
The willingness of the parent to support the child’s contact with the other parent.
The willingness of the parent to have a close relationship with the child
History of family abuse
Who has the Right to Custody of the Child?
Unless there is a court order, both parents have equal rights to a child. Regardless of the parents' marriage, there are still equal rights between each parent. In Virginia, there is no preference for the mother or the father having more rights to the child than the other parent. It is now much more common for judges to grant shared physical custody or joint legal custody.
Types of Child Custody in Virginia
Like other states, Virginia observes several different types of child custody. These include:
- Joint Legal Custody: when both parents are granted equal rights and authority to make medical, educational, religious, and other decisions on behalf of their child
- Joint Physical Custody: when both parents share physical custody of the child; note that joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that the child will spend the exact same amount of time with each parent
- Sole Custody: when only one parent is granted the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child, as well as physical custody of the child; the non-custodial parent may petition the court for visitation
When determining how custody will be awarded, the court always rules in favor of what it deems the “best interests” of the child. The court will look at various factors—such as the child’s existing relationships with both parents, both parents’ ability to care for the child, the child’s need for stability, and, when appropriate, the child’s wishes, amongst others—when ordering a custody arrangement.
How do You Prove Best Interest of the Child?
You can prove best interest of your child by enrolling them in school, being involved in their education, have participated in extracurricular activities, and have made other parenting decisions demonstrating an interest in nurturing your child. When both parents are involved, the judge will also look at whether or not one parent is willing to foster a loving relationship with the other parent. Due to this, it is in a parent's best interest to rebuild trust with your ex so you can show your intentions to the judge. Judges strongly favor keeping a child in an arrangement that the child is familiar with, such as allowing a child to remain in the same school or neighborhood. Even if a parent is allowed sole physical custody, the other parent usually has the right to visitation. This is because child custody laws in most states favor custody arrangements that allow both parents to maintain a close and loving relationship with their child.
Can a Father Get Gull Custody in Virginia?
A father in Virginia can get full custody if he can first petition the court services unit of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for custody, which consists of just filing basic information such as putting where the parent and their child live however in case of a previously implemented order then the parent has to file a Motion to Amend or Review Order in the same court that issued the previous custody order, additionally the parent will once again be required to serve the other parent with the necessary legal paperwork. The court will then have a psychological evaluation of both parents. The court will make a decision after.
Our Firm Can Help You
If you are currently going through a child custody battle or if you need help working with the other parent of your child in order to come to an agreed-upon custody arrangement, Woodmere Law, P.L.L.C. can help. Our Williamsburg child custody lawyer can also assist you in seeking visitation rights or requesting a modification of an existing child custody order.
We have extensive experience in this area of law, and we understand what you are going through. Our goal is to help you work for a swift, favorable resolution that meets your needs and the needs of your child. We offer compassionate, personalized representation, and we are not afraid to serve as your aggressive advocate whenever needed.
Give us a call at (757) 300-0309 to find out how we can help you with your child custody case. Your initial consultation is completely free.