Child Visitation Lawyer Fairfax, VA
Child Custody issues may arise whether a child’s parents have been married and are in the process of a divorce or even when the two parents have never been married and custody is contested. Courts generally tend to favor having both parents involved with the child(ren) as much as possible. The Court looks to factors, which will address the “best interests” of the child if parents cannot resolve legal and physical custody on their own. Of course it always better if the parents can reach a settlement rather than going to court to have the Judge make their decisions for them. Unfortunately, sometimes an agreement is not possible. The parties cannot reach a meeting of the minds regarding their offspring. In this case you need a lawyer to fight for you to demonstrate your way is the right way. Attorney Sheryl Shane has years of experience. She can guide you in the right direction.
When determining what is best for a child or children, the Court looks to such factors as listed in Virginia Code Annotated § 20-124.3
- Best interest of the child; visitation
In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to § 20-103, the court shall consider the following:
- The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs;
- The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
- The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
- The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;
- The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;
- The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
- The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;
- Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and
- Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.
When determining your children’s present and future, you need an experienced attorney. You may want sole legal custody over your child or you may choose to share in the legal decision making process with the other parent. Whether you want sole physical custody, shared physical custody, or simply visitation, you want to be certain that you handle matters correctly for you and your offspring. Also more importantly, you should know that court orders regarding children can sometimes be appealed or modified; for instance, because you feel the court has reached the wrong conclusion the first time or because of a change in circumstances, the court will place additional burdens upon you to change its original findings. Consult with Attorney Sheryl Shane and she could discuss with you what is plausible to your lifestyle and what will meet your family’s needs.
And finally, hire an attorney to explain spousal and child support. Too many times parents attempt to resolve support issues alone and without legal assistance. The parties do not understand the law and the custodial parent may not know what sum he or she is entitled to on a monthly basis. He or she does not understand the available remedies when one parent fails to pay his or her fair share of financial support. Sometimes there are ways the non-custodial parent can help if he/she has temporarily fallen on hard times. An attorney can explain how to modify existing orders and what to keep in mind regarding how to solve the matter.
A seasoned attorney can explain options and consequences. Text Attorney Sheryl Shane for advice