What is the most emotional issue in divorce? Almost always, the answer is custody of the child or children. Even when parents no longer wish to see one another on a regular basis, each will likely want to continue to be part of the child’s life.
The law divides custody into two types, legal custody (each parent’s right to make important decisions for the child) and physical custody (where the child will reside). In Virginia, the strong trend is toward ensuring that children have substantial time with both their parents.
The other key decision to be made in divorce is visitation, also known as parenting time — scheduling times and rules for the child’s stays with the noncustodial parent.
It is always desirable to resolve custody issues as amicably as possible, considering how stressful the situation is for both parents, not to mention the child. The family lawyers at The Laurel Brigade Law Groupare always mindful that the law requires the best interests of the child to always come first. We work to achieve the right balance through negotiation and mediation before we resort to litigation.
High-conflict child custody issues may require litigation. These include home environments that feature:
- Alcoholism or drug addictions
- Domestic violence of any kind
- Sexual or physical abuse
- Mental illness
- Other indications of unfitness
We work with clients to make modifications to child custody and visitation orders, including plans for relocation to another area. We also represent clients opposing these changes.
Custody and visitation are complex legal subjects, made more intricate by the thousands of court rulings in and out of Virginia that may have a bearing on your case. To discuss your legal options, schedule a consultation with our lawyers. Call us at our Leesburg offices at 703-777-6161 or email our attorneys a brief description of the problem at hand.