No matter where you are in the process, if you are currently facing a child custody issue, you should strongly consider retaining the services of a knowledgeable Chesapeake child custody lawyer who can help ensure your child’s rights and interests are protected. We care about you and your child’s future, and it shows in the quality legal services we provide our clients. Contact Patzig Law today to learn more about how our experienced legal team can help you.
Chesapeake Child Custody Lawyer | Protecting Your Child’s Best Interests
As a parent, there is nothing more important during the divorce process than your children. Our firm recognizes this, which is why you can rely on us to fight for your child’s best interests through every step of the legal process.
From the moment you sit down with our experienced legal team, you will feel at ease, knowing a competent and laser-focused Chesapeake child custody lawyer is on your side. To us, you are far more than another client. We understand that child custody matters are perhaps the most emotional and personal legal matters an individual can go through, and our compassionate team is here to help ensure the process moves along as smoothly as possible.
Physical Custody Vs. Legal Custody in Virginia
Physical custody deals with where the child will primarily live after a divorce is finalized. Oftentimes, because both parents want so badly to remain a significant part of their child’s life, disagreements about physical custody will occur. However, while physical custody is very important, retaining legal custody is equally, if not more important. This is because when a parent has legal custody of their child, it means that they will get to have a say when it comes to the child’s education, religion, and medical care.
Joint Vs. Sole Custody in Virginia
When parents have joint custody, it means that they share custody of their child. Parents can share both physical and legal custody, or they may only share legal custody. On the other hand, sole custody is when only one parent has physical and legal custody of their child. In many cases, Virginia courts will not go into a divorce assuming that parents will split custody 50/50, which is why you will need a skilled Chesapeake child custody lawyer on your side who can help ensure your child’s best interests are realized.
Determining Child Custody in Virginia
As you can imagine, Virginia courts will consider several things when determining child custody. Of course, your child’s best interests are at the heart of the decision, though determining what those interests are can be challenging. Some of the most common factors used to determine child custody are as follows:
- Whether both parents can financially provide for the child
- Whether both parents can provide the child with a safe and stable home environment
- Whether one parent has a substance abuse issue or is otherwise parentally unfit
- The bond the child has with each parent
- Whether one parent was the primary caretaker before the divorce
- How primarily living with one parent would impact the child
- Whether the child has a preference if he or she is old or mature enough
- The child’s schedule, including any extracurricular activities
These are just some of the factors that courts will consider when determining a child custody agreement, and ultimately, they will consider any other factor they deem relevant to serving your child’s best interests.
Modifying Child Custody in Virginia
Though a child custody agreement is legally enforceable, you should know that in the months and years after a divorce, it is possible to modify the initial child custody agreement, as long as you can prove that circumstances have significantly changed. Some reasons that may warrant a child custody modification are as follows:
- One parent has exposed their child to an act of domestic abuse and the other parent wishes to modify the initial child custody agreement to keep their child safe.
- One parent develops a substance abuse issue, preventing him or her from being able to make rational, safe choices around the child. This can also work the opposite way; for example, if one parent was initially denied child custody due to a substance abuse issue, though the parent can now prove that he or she has received help or otherwise fixed their problem and is now ready to play a more significant role in their child’s life, they may seek a modification. As long as the court determines that the modification would be in the child’s best interests, they should grant it.
- The custodial parent is looking to move out of state with their child and the non-custodial parent wishes to contest the move and modify the initial child custody agreement.
These are just some of the circumstances that may warrant a child custody modification, and if you believe that your situation in life has significantly changed and you require a child custody modification, the best thing you can do is speak with an experienced Chesapeake family law attorney as soon as you can.
Contact a Chesapeake Child Custody Lawyer
Our legal team is significantly experienced in handling child custody issues, and whether you are just beginning the divorce process or are looking to modify your initial divorce agreement, you can depend on us to have your child’s best interests in mind at all times. Contact Patzig Law today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.