When you’re talking about a custodial arrangement for your children, you have to consider two different kinds of custody: (1) legal custody, and (2) physical custody. Legal custody deals with the right to make three kinds of decisions on behalf of the child: (1) non emergency medical care, (2) religious upbringing, and (3) education. Legal custody is almost always joint.
Physical custody, on the other hand, is what people are usually fighting about, because physical custody deals with where the child lives and, therefore, spends the majority of his or her time. When you have primary physical custody, it means that you are the child’s primary custodian. The other parent, who almost always has visitation rights, is the noncustodial parent. In a primary physical custody scenario, the noncustodial parent has less than 90 full days with the child each year. Any more than 90 nights in a given year, and you’ll find yourself in shared custody territory.
This custodial arrangement has a number of benefits for your child, which should be carefully considered when determining how custody will be shared.
Listed below are a few of the factors to consider when pursuing primary physical custody in a Virginia divorce:
- Your child will be able to maintain a consistent routine. This is important for your child, especially in the aftermath of a divorce, which is often traumatic. Living with one parent ensures that your child has a normal day-to-day routine and can attend the same school.
- Your child will still be able to visit with the other parent. Even though your child is living with just you, he or she will still be able to visit the other parent during specified times.
- Your child doesn't need to have two of everything. One of the issues with joint physical custody, especially for younger children, is leaving toys and friends behind when living with the other parent. This can be troubling for younger children who need consistency to feel secure.
To learn more about primary physical custody in Virginia, refer to our article Benefits and Challenges of Primary Physical Custody in Virginia.
Throughout your divorce proceedings, you'll naturally have a lot of questions specific about your unique circumstances. That is why it is so important to have a Virginia divorce lawyer on your side who understands your case and will keep your best interests in mind when defending your case in court.
The Virginia divorce attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm represent Virginia women who wish to file for divorce. We are committed to fighting for your rights, assisting in child custody disputes, and ensuring that you receive everything you are entitled to and need in order to start your new life. Contact us today to schedule a legal consultation - (757) 425-5200.