Child Custody Attorneys Chesapeake

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Child custody concerns are often a primary focus of divorce, but that is not where the matter ends. Child custody matters often arise in relation to post-divorce modifications and to breakups that involve children born outside of marriage. Whatever your situation is, if you have a concern that is related to child custody, you should not wait to speak with an experienced child custody attorney in Chesapeake about your case. 

Child Custody in Virginia

In a Virginia divorce, your child custody arrangements are categorized as both legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody sets the stage for who will be making the important decisions that directly affect your children’s lives moving forward. Physical custody, on the other hand, determines the schedule by which you and your children’s other parent will be dividing your time with your shared children. Both are important elements of child custody, and both affect your rights as a parent. 

Legal Custody

Legal custody designates who has the responsibility and the right to make primary decisions that relate to all the following on behalf of your children:

  • The education they receive
  • The medical care they receive
  • The extracurriculars and travel they participate in
  • The religious education they receive

Legal custody does not extend to the everyday questions that parents everywhere must make throughout the course of a day, which remain the responsibility of the parent who is with the children at the time. Similarly, in emergency situations, the parent who is available to make critical decisions must do so. 

Physical Custody

Physical custody is what most people think of in relation to child custody, and it sets the schedule by which you and your ex will split your time with your children. If you are able to negotiate a schedule between yourselves that works for both of you, you can expect the court to sign off on it, but if not, the court is likely to issue one of its standard parenting time schedules. While you may hammer out a schedule that is utterly unique to your family situation, it will fall into one of the following categories:

  • One of you is the primary custodial parent, and the other has a visitation schedule. 
  • You and your children’s other parent divide your time with the children somewhat evenly.  

The Court’s Best Interest Factors

The court always makes child custody decisions in accordance with the best interests of the involved children, and factors like the following are taken into consideration in the process:

  • Each child’s age, physical health, mental health, and developmental needs (including any special needs)
  • Each parent’s age, overall health, and parenting ability
  • The nature of the relationship between each parent and each child
  • The role each parent has played in each child’s upbringing to date 

Look to an Experienced Child Custody Attorney in Chesapeake for the Legal Guidance You Need

The accomplished child custody attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston PLLC, in Chesapeake, Virginia, understand the serious nature of your child custody concern and are well prepared to help. For more information, contact us today.