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.
Divorces can be emotional for the parties involved, especially children. Courts in Virginia apply the rule of "best interest of the child" to determine most divorce issues related to the child. These issues may include child support, child custody and visitation rights.
Once a couple separates, both partners have to decide which spouse will raise their child. Usually, neither parent is willing to give up child custody or any parental rights. Therefore, child custody disputes are one of the most fought-over aspects of a separation, whether in Virginia, or any other state.
Following a divorce, it is important for children to feel safe and secure that their parents love them and will care for them. Cooperating with an ex-spouse may be difficult, especially if the divorce was particularly acrimonious. However, it is in the best interests of the child for parents in Virginia to put their differences aside and focus on the singular goal of raising their child.