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How Do I Adjust Visitation to Accommodate New Circumstances?

The visitation schedule handed down to you – as part of your child custody arrangements when your divorce was finalized – was tailored to your circumstances at the time. The courts, however, understand that circumstances can change and that – sometimes – child custody modifications are necessary. If this is the situation you are in, the best path forward is with an experienced Virginia child custody attorney on your side. 

A Material Change in Circumstances

In Virginia, a child custody modification must be based on a material change in the applicable circumstances, and the modification in question must be deemed in the best interests of the children involved. The kinds of change that rise to this level include:

  • A move that is predicated on something significant, such as improving your financial standing or providing your children with enhanced opportunities
  • A significant change in a child’s healthcare, education, or other significant needs
  • A significant change in either parent’s home life, such as a marriage or divorce, that changes the landscape of the children’s living situation with that parent
  • A negative change in either parent’s overall ability to parent, such as a newly acquired or advancing addiction concern

Child Custody Modifications and Best Interest Factors

Virginia courts do not make child custody modifications lightly, and no modification will be forthcoming if it is not considered to be in the best interests of the children involved. The factors that the court will consider in the determination of your child custody modification request can include all the following:

  • Each child’s physical and mental health in relation to his or her evolving developmental needs
  • Each child’s unique needs, including any special needs, and each child’s relationships with other people who are important in his or her life (such as siblings, extended family members, friends, and more)
  • The age and overall mental and physical health of each parent
  • The strength and nature of the relationship between each parent and each child
  • The role that each parent has played in raising the children to date
  • Each child’s preference (if he or she is considered old enough and mature enough to voice a reasonable preference)
  • Whether or not any form of domestic abuse or child abuse is a concern in either parent’s household
  • Any other factors that the court deems relevant in the case at hand

If you’ve experienced a significant change in circumstances that you believe warrants a child custody modification, the most important step you can take is reaching out to a dedicated child custody attorney.  

Consult with an Experienced Virginia Child Custody Attorney Today

The capable Virginia child custody attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston PLLC, recognize how important your child custody concerns are to you, and we are well prepared to skillfully campaign on behalf of your best interests and parenting goals. Your child custody case is our priority, and our seasoned legal team is here to help – so please don’t put off contacting us for more information today.