When a Virginia court first sees a divorce case involving child custody, they issue an initial determination of custody. A temporary, pendente lite, custody and visitation order can be made while the trial is pending, allowing the child to be placed in a stable situation while a final decision about custody is made.
Aside from appeals when one parent feels the child custody arrangements are unfavorable, the terms of a Virginia child custody arrangement may be changed down the line when material circumstances of either parent change. Material circumstances refer to:
- health or economic loss
- a change in lifestyle such as moving out of state
It’s important to note that it is very difficult to retain Virginia child custody if you are moving out of state. The petitioning parent must be able to prove that this move is in the child’s best interest. The best way to do this is by providing thorough research of the area of the proposed move, including schools, parks, daycares, and other child-related facilities.
Including details such as how to accommodate for the child’s interests (sports teams, local events, etc.) will also help prove the move is beneficial to the child. The best plan of action is to also prepare a visitation proposal for the non-custodial parent, detailing how they will still retain some visitation rights. This plan should include proposed times for visitation, transportation accommodations, and holiday or vacation schedules. While you may not be particularly thrilled to research ways to make life easier for your ex-, remember that this is something the courts will expect and look more favorably upon.
It is important to have a women’s divorce lawyer on your side that understands how your life circumstances change and how to adapt to those changes in a satisfactory way. The attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm will get help if your Virginia child custody arrangement needs to be reviewed. Contact us today to schedule a legal consultation – (757) 425-5200.