Dedicated Lynchburg Child Custody Lawyer Advocates for Clients
Virginia attorney handles issues parents face when they divorce
Mothers and fathers always face parenting challenges, but divorce is particularly hard on everyone involved. At The Bice Law Group, I am a Lynchburg child custody attorney who uses the knowledge and skills gained over more than 35 years of legal practice to give families a chance to thrive when circumstances change drastically. In matters relating to residence, legal authority, visitation and other aspects of child custody determinations, my firm offers personalized representation and compassionate counsel.
Types of child custody in Virginia
Dealing with divorce while taking care of a child can be very stressful, but I strive to make the process easier by delivering sound guidance on issues pertaining to:
- Physical custody — Deciding where a child will live when parents reside in separate homes can trigger serious conflict. During discussions of physical custody, I take a broad look at what is best for the child and seek creative solutions to avert future problems.
- Legal custody — The authority that parents have over key matters concerning their children is known as legal custody. After a divorce, legal custody is frequently shared so that each parent has input into important decisions affecting their child’s education, medical care and religious upbringing.
- Joint and shared arrangements — Parents who live near each other might seek shared physical custody, which means that their son or daughter spends roughly the same amount of time in each home. In most cases, however, joint or split custody is easier to manage. Under these arrangements, the child resides primarily in one residence, but a parenting time schedule is established mandating that the child spends time in the other parent’s home, often during weekends, summers and school holidays.
My firm drafts and negotiates clear, detailed custody and visitation plans so that feasible concerns are addressed and both parents can have frequent, meaningful time with their children.
How is child custody determined in Virginia?
Though determining what is in a child’s best interests might sound simple, numerous factors can affect a judge’s decision on custody and visitation. The pertinent Virginia statute requires courts to consider the age and physical and mental condition of each parent, along with the child’s needs. Judges also examine current parent-child relationships and if either parent has a history of abusive behavior. If your son or daughter is of sufficiently mature age, their preferences can also be taken into account.
Rights of mothers and fathers in Virginia
Old attitudes about the roles of men and women in raising children have led to formal and informal preferences for mothers in custody cases. Sometimes, this required men to seek out an attorney for father’s rights. Modern Virginia law does not favor mothers or fathers in these matters, and it’s usually best for the parties to create schedules that allow both parents substantial time with their children.
Modifications and enforcement of existing custody orders
The needs of children and parents can change significantly over time, and these adjustments might justify modifications to custody and visitation terms. As in other custody determinations, judges evaluate revision requests based on whether the proposed modification is in the child’s best interests. One potentially difficult situation arises when a custodial parent seeks to relocate with their child due to a job change, family medical crisis or new relationship. In these cases, judges weigh the reason for the move along with the effect of the relocation on the noncustodial parent’s ability to visit with their child. When possible, my firm seeks creative ways to bridge gaps between parents.
Contact a dedicated Lynchburg child custody attorney to set up a free consultation
The Bice Law Group in Lynchburg advocates for Virginia parents in child custody proceedings, including requests to revise existing orders. For a free initial consultation, please call (434) 528-1500 or contact me online. My office is located in Lynchburg.