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Getting a fair result in a child custody dispute

Child custody in Virginia has two aspects, physical custody and legal custody. Parents entrusted with physical custody of the child get to keep the child with them and parents entrusted with legal custody have the right to take important decisions in relation to the child, including the child's education and lifestyle choices. In case where parents do not have shared physical custody, the non-custodial parent is granted visitation rights to meet the child for limited duration from time to time. The best interests of the child are always the prime consideration of the court in issuing any child custody order.

Under normal circumstances, both parents jointly share both legal and physical custody of the child. But if one parent is unfit to be a parent or is proven to have detrimental effects on the child, the other parent can be granted sole custody of the child where he or she can keep the child as well as make all important decisions concerning the child.

If the divorcing couple has more than one child, the court might order split custody where each parent gets full physical and legal custody over one child. Courts can also order a combination of sole, shared and split custody considering the child's wishes and best interests. Grandparents' visitation rights are also recognized under the child custody laws of Virginia.

Child custody is often a very contentious issue in divorce litigation. Both parents want the best for their children but might not agree on what is best for them, especially when they are getting divorced. In such situations, lawyers can play an important role in drafting a child custody agreement which gives near equal rights to both parents while keeping the best interest of the child in mind.

The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice. For more information on child custody, see our Alexandria Child Custody Lawyers web page.

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Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates
124 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703-650-0367
Fax: 703-836-3549
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