When parents decide to get a divorce, the children are often the ones who are most affected. Generally, when a couple gets divorced, the child has to travel back and forth between their parents’ homes, as opposed to living in the same house as both parents. Even with a joint custody arrangement, it is unlikely that the child will get to spend the same amount of time with each parent or spend time with both parents at the same time. As a result of these changes, children may start to struggle emotionally.
When it comes to divorce, Virginia courts are most concerned with the best interest of the child. Under Virginia law, the court may consider any factors it deems necessary to determine the arrangement that is best for the child. Some of the factors courts consider when making child custody determinations may include:
- Age and health of the child.
- Age and health of the parents.
- Existing relationships between each parent and child.
- Existing relationships between child and other family members, including siblings.
- Willingness to encourage and support the relationship with the other parent.
- Willingness of each parent to continue the relationship with the child.
- History of domestic violence or abuse.
After considering all of the necessary factors, courts will determine how the parents will share time with their child and what decisions each parent will be allowed to make on behalf of the child. A family law attorney can make sure that your case is thoroughly presented to the judge on your case. The court’s final decision will become a custody order, which both parents are legally required to follow.