How Virginia Judges and Guardians ad Litem Determine Which Parent Deserves Custody: An inside look at the logic behind custody determinations

Moms ask me all the time, “You think I’ll get custody, don’t you?” That’s a very tricky question to answer and, the way I see it, it’s really asking two different things: (1) do you deserve to have custody, and (2) will the judge ultimately determine that you deserve custody.

It’s question 2 that I address here today. What does it take to have a judge determine that you deserve to have custody of your children? How do you convince a judge of your parental fitness? I’ve heard lots of other attorneys discussing their tips, tools, and tactics for winning custody for moms in court. There are a lot of different methods, a lot of speculation about each particular judge’s preferences, and a lot of competing advice. If you were to ask ten different attorneys how to persuade a judge that you deserve custody, you’d probably receive ten different answers.

The Virginia State Bar (the governing organization for Virginia attorneys) has recently released a video, “Spare the Child”, that provides an extremely interesting insight into the way that judges and Guardians ad litem are looking at custody cases. If you think you may be facing a custody battle in the Virginia courts, it would be a good idea to look at this video and keep it in mind as you move forward. Check it out at this link: http://www.vsb.org/site/publications/video/#spare

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