Child Custody Lawyer Newport News

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Child custody concerns are very common to divorce. However, even if your divorce is in your past, the need for a child custody modification can crop up. Further, child custody issues between parents who were never married require the same careful legal attention. If it involves your kids, it’s important, and reaching out to an experienced child custody lawyer in Newport News can help. 

Child Custody

In Virginia, child custody is divided into legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody addresses making important decisions on behalf of your children’s best interests, and physical custody addresses how you and your children’s other parent will divide your time with your children. These are important matters that directly affect your parental rights, which makes giving them the attention they deserve critical. 

Legal Custody

Parenting is all about guiding your children’s growth and development, and a big part of this is making decisions on their behalf that support your parenting goals. The kinds of decisions involved include:

  • Decisions about your children’s schooling
  • Decisions about your children’s health care
  • Decisions about your children’s extracurriculars
  • Decisions about your children’s religious education

You and your children’s other parent can address this responsibility in any of the following ways:

  • You can make the decisions together. 
  • You can make the decisions together, but if you cannot resolve the matter between yourselves, one of you will have tie-breaking authority.
  • One of you can shoulder the responsibility yourself.
  • You and your divorcing spouse can divide this decision-making power according to the kind of decision that is being made. 

Those routine child-rearing decisions that sprout up regularly remain the responsibility of the parent who is with the children at the time. 

Physical Custody

Physical custody is a major part of child custody, and it refers to how your children will divide their time between you and their other parent. While there is considerable flexibility regarding the schedule you devise, every parenting schedule falls into one of the following two categories:

  • You and your children’s other parent will split your time with the kids equally. 
  • One of you will become the primary custodial parent, while the other will have scheduled visits.

You can implement nearly any kind of schedule that works for you, but if you need the court to intervene, you’ll likely receive one of the state’s standard visitation schedules.

The Best Interest of Your Children

When the matter involves children, the court is always guided by their best interests. As such, all of the following can play a role in how the court determines child custody issues:

  • Each child’s age, mental and physical health, and his or her evolving developmental needs
  • Each parent’s age and physical and mental health
  • The strength of the relationship between each parent and each child
  • The needs of each child, which can include relationships with siblings, other relatives, extended family, and more
  • The role that each parent plays in each child’s life
  • The child’s preference in the matter (if he or she is mature enough to weigh in)
  • Each parent’s ability to resolve parenting disputes with the other parent
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant

Consult with an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Newport News Today

The trusted Newport News child custody lawyers at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, have the experience, legal skill, and drive you need to help resolve your child custody concerns. We are here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today.