Skilled Child Visitation Attorney in Lynchburg Stands Up For Clients
At The Bice Law Group, we work to see that parents who don’t have primary physical custody of their children are granted appropriate visitation rights. Founding attorney David B. Bice, with over 35 years of experience in practicing family law in Virginia, is prepared to assist clients and achieve positive outcomes for them in even the most complex and highly contested cases. When you need the help of a visitation attorney in Lynchburg, you can rely on our legal team to deliver personalized attention and diligent representation.
What Do Courts Consider When Granting Visitation Rights?
The courts in Virginia always consider a child’s best interests in visitation decisions. Judges consider a variety of factors during this analysis, such as:
- Children’s ages and developmental needs
- Parents’ abilities to provide healthy and nonabusive environments
- Parents’ mental and physical conditions
- Distance between parents’ homes
- Practical considerations, including parental work obligations, children’s school schedules and extracurricular activities
Can A Parent Deny A Former Partner Visitation?
Sometimes parents deny visitation for various reasons. They may do it because they are angry at their former spouse or because child support hasn’t been paid. However, if there is a valid visitation order in place, the custodial parent cannot deny visitation. If they do, the noncustodial parent can ask the court to enforce the order. Penalties for the custodial parent could include a change to the relevant order and possible contempt of court charges. In some cases, though, parents may fear abuse is taking place. Parents with legitimate suspicions can ask the court for modifications to their order, which is best done with the help of a skilled attorney.
How Are Visitation Rights Modified In Virginia?
The parent requesting a modification to an order has to demonstrate that there has been a material change in circumstances. Possible justifications include a parent’s move, a safety concern or an improper denial of visitation rights. Once a judge reviews the change in circumstances, they will decide whether a modification is in the child’s best interests and then either deny the request or enter a new order. We can guide you in negotiating visitation adjustments and advocate for you in court, if necessary.
What Are Some Typical Visitation Plans?
The details of an effective visitation plan depend on the circumstances, but many include terms such as these:
- Children stay with noncustodial parent every other weekend and one night during the week
- Children stay with noncustodial parent on designated holidays and during school breaks
- Children stay with custodial parent during the week and noncustodial parents on weekends
Additionally, if there is concern that a child isn’t safe with a noncustodial parent because that parent has a history of being abusive, using drugs, or otherwise posing a danger, the court may order supervised visitation, where another adult is also present.
At What Age Can A Child Refuse Visitation In Virginia?
Legally, children cannot refuse court-ordered visitation until they turn 18. But with older children especially, forcing visitation may not be possible. We can advise you about steps to take if your child is refusing visitation, such as informing the court that refusals are happening, possibly investigating if your co-parent is alienating your child against you, and perhaps asking for a modification to the visitation order.