Custody cases elicit a deep, visceral, primal fear in the minds of most mothers. Having an experienced attorney by your side is more critical now – with the advent of the new laws that seemingly promoted shared custody – than ever before.
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to custody and visitation, which is what the “best interests of the child” factors were always designed to address. Whether sole custody, joint legal custody, primary physical custody, shared physical custody, or some other scenario is most appropriate is more case by case than you might think. Though there are judges that tend to award the same thing over and over, like 50/50 custody in a week on/week off format, there are other things you can do to help ensure that your parenting plan is tailored for your unique circumstances.
The more you know about what judges are looking for, and how to structure your custody case, the better prepared you’ll be, whether your case is resolved by agreement between you and your child’s father, or whether you have to litigate in front of a judge.
The more you know about the vocabulary of custody, the best interests of the child factors, when and how custody, visitation and child support are modified, what a material change in circumstances is, how juvenile and circuit courts work in custody disputes, what issues are appealable and under what circumstances, how child support works, and so on – the better.
There’s more, though. It’s not just the law, it’s how the personal circumstances of the family weave through constraints set by the law and legal precedent, too. If there’s drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, relocation, reunification, new relationships, new children, special needs children, nursing, or whatever – it can have an impact on custody and visitation. Whatever your circumstances, you’ll need to navigate the best interests of the child factors to help support your desired outcome.
You’re in the right place, and you’re asking the right questions. We can give you the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your children. So, what are you waiting for? Download a free copy of our custody book for Virginia moms, get more information about our custody seminar, read any of the custody-related resources in our extensive library, or schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys today.