When custody and visitation of your children is unresolved, it’s unsettling. You’re wondering whether there’s any end in sight, whether you and your child’s father will be able to reach an agreement (or whether you’ll end up discussing your children in front of a judge), and whether the situation, unresolved as it is, is going to cause irreparable damage to your children. You feel guilty, but you know it’s your job as a mother to do whatever it takes to protect them. You know that you’re in the best place to help determine what’s really in their best interests, and it’s hard not to feel a little panicked when you feel control slipping away from you.
Visitation, or parenting time, is what we call the time that the noncustodial parent (the parent who has the child less) gets to spend with the child. The custodial parent (the parent who has the child more) has custody.
Because emotions are running so high, custody disputes can get ugly really fast. It’s important to have an experienced Virginia custody attorney on your side to help you navigate the tricky parts–whether you’re in juvenile and domestic relations court or you’re in the circuit court (because of an appeal from a lower court ruling or because your custody case is also part of a divorce action), the steps you take now can have a dramatic impact on your case and your children’s future.
Virginia courts decide custody cased on what, in the judge’s opinion, is in the best interests of the child. Today, we see judges expressing a preference for a custody and visitation arrangement that allows both parents to take part in raising the child. Because of this view, courts reward parents who encourage their children to have visitation with their other parent–and punish parents who try to keep their children away from the other parent. It’s important that you get information now, before you accidentally make any mistakes that could damage your case.
We can help you answer important questions, like, “What should I do if he asks for more time?” and “What if he asks to do something with the kids that I’m really not comfortable with?” By making smart, carefully calculated decisions now, you’ll avoid giving your child’s father ammunition to use against you in court later on.
Protect yourself and protect your kids–you’ll be glad you did.