When Virginia couples divorce, they must resolve a number of issues before the court can issue a final decree. Such issues typically refer to property division matters, as well as alimony, child support (if spouses have children) and child custody topics. The latter can spark contention between spouses if they disagree about what is best for their children.
Agreeing to terms regarding your children’s future lives after divorce is an intensely personal process. It pays to have an experienced family law advocate on your side, especially if you anticipate problems. For instance, if you believe your spouse’s presence is a detriment to your children’s well-being, an attorney can help you gather evidence and present your case in court.
Perhaps you already have a court order in place and your ex keeps disregarding the terms of your agreement. While the court recognizes that parents sometimes need to request modification of an existing court order, such as terms regarding child support, no parent is free to change a court-order without navigating the proper process and obtaining the court’s permission. Also, unless the court has prohibited it, specified parenting time is a right; therefore, one parent cannot impede the other parent’s relationship with his or her children.
In Virginia and all other states, the court focuses on children’s best interests when making child custody decisions. Unless there is evidence of a substance abuse problem or other extenuating circumstance that places your children at risk, it is likely that the court will be favorable toward a shared custody arrangement. If you have questions regarding state laws or are currently having trouble resolving a particular legal issue, you may request a meeting with Divorce Mediation Plus for guidance and support.