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Family Law Attorneys Make Navigating Child Custody Easier

— April 28, 2022

Many judges prefer to order joint physical custody to parents to allow each children to know their parents by spending time with them.

Issues surrounding child custody are sensitive, gut-wrenching and can be detrimental to all family members if they are not handled correctly under the guidelines of Virginia State family laws.  Consultation with child custody attorneys is prudent for divorcing couples to attempt to maintain stability for their children.  The degree of emotion tied to child custody disputes is enormous and the resolution will impact the future relationship with children for each parent, and cause disruptions for the stability of the children regarding their: 

  1. living space(s), 
  2. changes in routine, 
  3. feelings of anxiety, and 
  4. increased situations where they will have variable outcomes, versus the constants that a previous two-parent household may have provided.  

Skilled child custody attorneys are an asset in smoothing out the many daunting fears for clients, as they struggle through legal custody battles.

Custody vs. Responsibility

Child custody lawyers in Virginia will explain state child custody laws to clients, as they pertain to both parents’ legal responsibility to the children. Virginia State recognized legal and physical custody.  Legal custody is a parent’s right to make decisions regarding a child’s welfare, including those surrounding medical care, education, and religion.  Physical custody refers to the parent who will provide a primary residence for a child.  Courts in Virginia can award joint custody, sole custody, or a combination depending upon on a couple’s requests, and the best interests of the children.  

Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility has more to do with decisions that will affect the life and activities of a child.  The responsibility of these decisions may be split evenly despite physical custody of a child.    

Custody modifications

Gavel and two hardbound books on wooden table; image by Succo, via
Gavel and two hardbound books on wooden table; image by Succo, via

Family law attorneys are instrumental in child custody modifications when parents disagree on evolving custody issues.  Legal counsel may need to make a Richmond Virginia court appearance because the custody modification is not legal unless ordered by the presiding judge.

Joint physical custody preferences

Many judges prefer to order joint physical custody to parents to allow each children to know their parents by spending time with them.  Joint physical custody means that children have two engaged and involved parents who set up two homes for them, compared to one home with a place to visit the other parent.  This type of custody arrangement is not necessarily a half time split among parents, but allowanced to offer equal time are attempted.  Parents have to live nearby for this type of arrangement to work so children can transition back and forth between homes while maintaining their regular activities and keeping them engaged in their communities.  This type of arrangement may not work if tensions remain high between parents putting the children in volatile situations.  Child custody attorneys in Virginia can guide parents to a workable solution in many cases.  

Relocation of parents

Parents who have formal custody arrangements for their children must provide notice of an intended move to the Virginia courts and the other parent within thirty days of an anticipated move.  They must provide the intended change of address and a court  may require  that the notice addresses both parties’ concerns and is relevant to the child custody circumstances specific to the case.  Legal counsel may be able to ascertain if a relocation will put up red flags under the guise of negative impacts to children, and guide client actions to preserve positive custody in the interests of the child.  A child custody law firm will assist clients as they attempt to provide stability in a child’s life, recognizing the rights and responsibilities of both parents. 


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