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Can I refuse to send my kids to visitation?

I first started writing articles about COVID-19 related concerns back in March of 2020, never expecting that an entire year later I’d still be dealing with concerns related to the ongoing pandemic. Custody and visitation issues are some of the biggest that we face in family law, especially when parents share children between two different…

Custody of Toddlers

Toddlers – like most children, really – are creatures of habit. Or, at least, they operate best when their routines are protected. As a parent, even under the best circumstances, the routine can be difficult. When you’re coparenting, maintaining a consistent routine is even more challenging, if not impossible, depending on your other coparent. Even…

Custody, the holidays, and good mental health

There’s never a good time to go through a divorce or custody case, but probably one of the most difficult times to do so is during the holiday season. Though I think it’s true that most families fall into a rhythm over time with their parenting plans, there’s also a season of life where it’s…

Parenting Education Seminars

It should come as no surprise to any parent that, when it comes to parenthood and raising children, there is literally no instruction manual. Hospitals really do just let you take brand new babies home, with little more than a stern admonition to not shake the baby and a quick peek at your car seat…

What is primary physical custody?

  Understanding custody isn’t easy. In fact, I often tell people that learning about custody first involves learning the vocabulary of custody, and understanding how the different forms of custody relate to each other. Though custody litigation is common, these disputes often center around similar themes. In general, child support is not a particular contentious…

Should my child be in therapy during my custody case?

OCTOBER 26, 2020 BY KATIE CARTER   Contested cases are hard on everyone involved. I work with women, so my perspective is often that of the wife and mother. I actually rarely see children. It’s really not appropriate; for me to do my job, I have to have conversations with my client that could be harmful for…

Can my child choose which parent should have custody?

It’s pretty universally acknowledged that children – even very young children (and perhaps maybe especially very young children) – have very strong preferences. For my son (who is 3), the strongest of those centers around the color blue, which no one else is allowed to like except for him. Any toy that happens to be…

Dissecting the Virginia Stay at Home Order

Governor Northam issued a Stay at Home order for Virginia residents, effective immediately, on Monday, March 30th, 2020. I wrote last week about what would happen if a shelter in place order was issued, ironically right before Governor Northam issued his stay at home order. I’ve been reading up on these, and it probably bears…

Coparenting for Beginners, Part 2

On Monday, I talked about an issue in coparenting that I see come up with some frequency: “how much information do I give my child’s father?” It’s often an issue when it comes to things like medical appointments; if dad doesn’t come, is mom obligated to share the details? What does it say if she…

Coparenting for Beginners

I was talking to a woman the other day who was asking me all sorts of things about her upcoming custody case and the decisions she should be making. The (first time) mother of a very young son, she had never navigated this kind of territory before. Though she hoped to be able to reach…