Norfolk Child Custody Attorney

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The process of a child custody dispute can be challenging and emotionally draining. As a Norfolk child custody attorney, Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC is committed to guiding you through this complex journey. Our understanding of the unique nuances of Virginia’s child custody laws and our familiarity with the local legal system make us a reliable partner in your pursuit of the best possible outcome for your family.

Why Virginia Child Custody Cases Are Different

Virginia places the child’s best interests at the forefront of any custody decision. However, the court also considers another set of factors when determining what constitutes the child’s best interests. These factors range from the age, physical and mental condition of the child and each parent, to the role each parent has played and will play in the upbringing and care of the child.

Working with a family law attorney who understands these specific factors and how local courts typically interpret them can make a significant difference in your case.

Types of Child Custody in Virginia

In Virginia, there are two primary types of child custody arrangements. Understanding these is crucial in making informed decisions about your child’s future.

  • Joint custody implies that both parents share the responsibility of raising the child, even if they do not necessarily share equal time with the child. This arrangement encourages cooperation and shared decision-making, but it may not be suitable in situations where the parents have a contentious relationship.
  • On the other hand, sole custody means that only one parent has the authority to make major decisions about the child’s life. While this arrangement provides consistency for the child, it can limit the non-custodial parent’s involvement in the child’s upbringing.

Physical Custody vs. Legal Custody

Physical custody primarily refers to the living arrangements of the child. It determines with whom the child will reside. This could either be one parent (sole physical custody) or both parents in a shared arrangement (joint physical custody). In a joint physical custody situation, the child typically spends equal time living with both parents. The main aim here is to minimize disruption to the child’s routine and ensure their emotional well-being.

On the other hand, legal custody is about decision-making authority. It concerns who has the right to make significant choices on behalf of the child. These decisions can span various areas, including but not limited to the child’s education, healthcare, and religious instruction. Like physical custody, legal custody can be sole or joint. Even if one parent has sole physical custody, both parents can have joint legal custody, allowing them to collaboratively make decisions.

Navigating through these various custody arrangements can be a complex process. With the guidance of a Norfolk child custody attorney like Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, you can better understand these options and their potential impact on your child’s well-being.

Contact Our Norfolk Child Custody Attorney Today

At Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, we prioritize your child’s best interests and work diligently to help you navigate the intricacies of Virginia’s child custody laws. As your trusted Norfolk child custody attorney, we are committed to providing clear, comprehensive information to help you make the best decisions for your family during this challenging time. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation.