Divorce can be a difficult time for a child. They may not understand why their parents are no longer in love with one another. They may even think that the divorce was somehow their fault. If not handled properly, a messy divorce could affect a child for the rest of their life.
For these reasons, when it comes to child custody decisions, the standard Virginia courts will use is the best interests of the child. This standard is used when deciding whether parents will share legal custody or not. It will also be used when deciding which parents will have physical custody of the child.
If possible, it is often best for all involved if parents can negotiate a custody and visitation settlement agreement out-of-court. This way, each parent has more of a say in the final outcome, which could make him or her feel more satisfied. In addition, negotiating a settlement sets the groundwork for the fact that, even after their marriage has ended, parents in Virginia will still need to communicate with one another with regards to raising their child. Of course, sometimes there is simply too much animosity between parents to make reaching a settlement feasible. When this happens, a judge will have to step in and make a decision that is in the child's best interests.
Whether you are negotiating a divorce settlement or preparing for litigation, it is important to know that you do not have to do so alone. At Maddox & Gerock, we believe our clients need a representative who is caring and supportive, as well as experienced. We understand that courts will take many factors into account when determining what the best interests of the child are. We use this knowledge to advocate for our client's desired child custody arrangement. Our webpage on child custody may be a good starting point for those who want assistance in matters such as these.