Visitation Lawyer Virginia
Visitation Lawyer Virginia
If you and your child’s other parent are no longer romantically linked, you’re likely trying to figure out how your co-parenting situation is going to function. Whether you and your co-parent get along or you don’t, one of you is going to have your child for the vast majority of the time or you’re trying to split your time as evenly as you can, navigating the ins and outs of this life transition can’t be easy. Please know that you don’t have to weather the legal challenges that you’re facing alone. A visitation lawyer Virginia families trust can help you to chart the best way forward. Our firm’s legal team would be honored to assist you during this challenging time.
Understanding Parenting Time
Not so long ago, there was an expectation that one parent would take primary physical responsibility for a child’s wellbeing, while the other parent visited with the child regularly. This is no longer the default assumption made during child custody challenges. As a Virginia visitation lawyer from our firm can explain in greater detail, the default assumption that is generally made until challenged is that both parents will remain physically and emotionally present for their child and that their co-parenting duties and privileges will be split relatively evenly.
Of course, this is not to say that every co-parenting relationship functions this way. However your time with your child will be split between you and your co-parent, our Virginia visitation lawyer team can help to make this arrangement manageable, legally sound, and enforceable.
It is important to note that while we use the term “visitation” because it is a term that the American public is broadly familiar with, the time that a child spends with each parent is increasingly referred to as “parenting time.” While imperfect and an incomplete picture of what it means to be a parent (you’re a parent 24/7/365, whether your child is sleeping under your roof or not) it is a more accurate representation of what it means to co-parent than the traditional “visitation” term.
Mutual Agreement vs. Contentious Parenting Plan Challenges
If you and your child’s other parent can agree to the terms of your child custody arrangement and the terms of your parenting plan, there will likely be no need for a judge to intervene in your case. Instead, the experienced Virginia legal team at May Law, LLP can help you to construct a child custody order and parenting plan agreement that reflects your wishes and the court will sign off on it unless the judge assigned to your case takes issue with it (which would be both unexpected and rare).
However, if you and your child’s other parent struggle with fundamental differences on any issue—including how parenting time should be divided and what its “ins and outs” should look like—we may have to advocate on behalf of your position in court. Under most circumstances, it is ideal that parents keep their fate in their own hands. However, it sometimes makes sense to roll the dice and leave a specific determination up to a judge.
Child Custody – The Basics
Oftentimes child custody and visitation are determined as part of a divorce or legal separation unless the parents are unmarried. Custody is referring to where the child resides most of the time unless there is a split custody arrangement, whereas visitation refers to time allotted for the noncustodial parent to spend time with the child. Unless there are good reasons to deny visitation such as a history of abuse, courts will typically assume the child’s best interests are met when the child spends time with both parents.
Visitation rights in Virginia are similar to those of other states, and in addition to whether a child should have visitation time with the noncustodial parent there also be a consideration of the practical impact of any visitation schedule. If you have questions about visitation and you should speak to a visitation lawyer in Virginia such as the ones available from May Law LLP.
When you are dealing with visitation issues, and you need a visitation lawyer in Virginia then consider using a lawyer from May Law LLP who is determined to get the results their clients are looking for, they go the distance for every case no matter how complex or confusing it may be. The lawyers at May Law LLP are passionate about protecting your rights and liberties and keeping your goal first, not what is easiest and not what would close your case the fastest.
When the court is working out a schedule for visitation they are going to take into account school and/or daycare schedules, the child’s extracurricular activities and medical appointments, distance that will be traveled visitation, availability of transportation and willingness of parents to share in this obligation, each parents work schedule and recognition of the fairness regarding special days such as birthdays, weekends and holidays.
When determining visitation Virginia courts also considering the following factors with the focus of the child’s best interests at mind:
- Age and physical/mental condition of the child;
- Age and physical/mental condition of each parent;
- Relationship between each parent and each child;
- Needs of the child (including various relationships with siblings, peers, etc.);
- The role each parent plays in the child’s upbringing;
- The willingness/ability of each parent to support the child’s relationship with the other parent;
- The willingness/ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and to cooperate and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
- Reasonable preference of the child (subject to court’s discretion);
- Any history of domestic violence other such abuse; and
- Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
When it comes to unmarried fathers and mothers, maternity has to be established through voluntary acknowledgment or a DNA test if the acknowledgment is contested in order for the father to petition for visitation with the child. If you believe that you are the father but you have not yet establish paternity and you have to sign up at the Virginia putative father registry which allows for notification of any adoption or termination of parental rights.