Understanding child custody in Virginia

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2021 | Family Law |

When Virginia parents decide that it is time for their relationship to end and to begin a separation or divorce, they likely worry about how the process will impact their kids. Children can have different reactions and needs when their parents end their relationships, and parents can mitigate those disruptions by providing their children with love and support through their custodial planning. Child custody in Virginia can be established by the courts or through agreements by parents.

This post will generally discuss the types of custody that Virginia parents can attempt to secure for themselves when their relationships change. This post in no way offers legal advice and all readers are encouraged to seek legal support from knowledgeable family law attorneys in their communities.

Legal custody: Decision-making authority

Legal custody is an important parental right. It allows a parent to have access to information about a child’s health, education, and other care. It also allows a parent to be involved in the decision-making process about those and other important topics. A parent with legal custody can be part of the conversation if a child wants to change schools or requires a net medical treatment.

Physical custody: Providing a child with a home base

Physical custody is the type of custody that most parents think of when they consider divorce or separation. A parent with physical custody rights has the right to have their child live with them some or all the time. When a child is under the care of a parent with physical custody, they are responsible for the child’s day-to-day needs.

Joint or sole custody for parents

The two forms of custody discussed herein can be shared between parents or granted exclusively to one parent. When a parent is denied physical custody rights, they may be able to retain visitation time with their child. The way a child custody determination is made in a specific case will depend on many factors and the best interests of the kids involved. Family law attorneys can help their clients work through their child custody questions and concerns.