Family Law Lawyers Chesapeake

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Family law is a specific area of the law that addresses legal concerns affecting your marriage and/or your family. As such, family law matters are significant concerns that are best-addressed head-on with the professional legal counsel of an experienced family law lawyer in Chesapeake backing you up. 

Your Parental Rights Matter

Family law concerns often address parental rights, including:

  • Child custody arrangements and post-divorce modifications
  • Child support and post-divorce modifications
  • Paternity
  • Adoption

Child Custody

Child custody arrangements determine who will be making the important parenting decisions on behalf of your children (legal custody) and how you and your children’s other parent will divide your time between your shared children (physical custody). Both legal and physical custody can be either sole or joint, but every child custody decision the court makes is based on the involved children’s best interests. Ultimately, courts find that children’s best interests are best served when children are allowed to spend a considerable amount of time with both of their parents (unless there is a significant reason for ruling otherwise). 

Child Support

Child support is based on state calculation guidelines, and the intent is to balance financial support for the children between both parents. The amount of time you spend with your kids and the amount of income that each of you earns are the primary factors that determine who will have the child support obligation. If one of you earns considerably more than the other, it’s very likely that he or she will pay child support (even if you divide your parenting time down the middle). 


When a child’s parents are not married in the State of Virginia, paternity must be established (before the child’s father can be identified). Paternity helps protect the father’s rights, helps to establish his responsibilities, and can benefit the child considerably. Paternity can be established in any of the following ways:

  • By both parents signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity
  • Through DNA testing that is requested by either the mother or father
  • Through DNA testing that is ordered by the court

When a child’s father is established in the eyes of the law, it can lead to all the following benefits:

  • Providing the child with financial support that flows from the father
  • Supporting a meaningful relationship between father and child
  • Allowing the child to become a legal heir of the father
  • Allowing the child to receive benefits from the father, such as employment-based insurance coverage, veterans benefits, social security, and more


Adoption is the legal tool that allows adults to become the legal parents of children who are not biologically their own – thus growing their families and enriching their own and their children’s lives. Family law guides this exceptionally complicated legal matter. 

Reach Out to an Experienced Family Law Lawyer in Chesapeake Today

The practiced family law lawyers at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, in Chesapeake dedicate their impressive practice to helping clients like you effectively and efficiently resolve their important family-related legal concerns. Your rights matter, so please don’t put off contacting us for more information today.