Virginians who are going through a divorce will have a great deal to think about as the case moves forward. From support to property division to child custody and parenting time, it can be a complex matter. Depending on the situation people can be in dispute from the start.
When the disagreement centers around children, whether it is custody or parenting time, it can grow increasingly contentious. Courts strive to limit the discord and find reasonable solutions that both parents can accept, and that the solution is in the best interests of the children. One main issue for the Court and for the parties is to ensure that the parents cooperate in child-related matters.
Best interests of the child and parental cooperation
Virginia Courts focus on the child’s best interests. The Courts strive to include both parents in roles in the children’s lives. The Courts assess the children’s relationship with each parent and each parent’s willingness to promote the nurturing and continuing bond between the child and the other parent.
These analyses regarding factors for custody and parenting time include the whole family, including siblings and peers. Relationships between the children and their parents, family, and extended family are also considerations for the Court. If a parent played an active role in the child’s life, the Court will make all attempts to make sure that those roles continue for each parent.
Parents are expected to promote and encourage the children to have consistent contact and time with each parent. This is sometimes an obstacle, especially if one of the parents is deemed to be on bad terms with the child, or to have significant mental health issues. If a parent does not express a willingness to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, the court will sometimes take that into consideration in its award of custody and parenting time. If a party denies the other party parenting time, without justification, this can be a serious negative in their attempts to get custody or parenting time.
Parents should understand the value of legal assistance in family law cases
In these complicated and sometimes stressful family law cases, it is important to have professional assistance to navigate through the myriad issues that arise during these cases. Experienced counsel can help get beyond the lingering personal problems between the parents, so that they focus on what is in the best interests of the children, rather than the differences between each other.
People who need guidance are wise to retain experienced assistance from the outside. In very acrimonious cases seasoned counsel can reduce the temperature between the parties to get them to focus on what is in the best interests of the children.
Consult a professional with experience in handling these matters and someone who has devoted their practice to family law, especially children’s issues.