Maintaining a strong parent-child relationship following divorce is the top priority for many individuals. Determining how to divide time with children is one of the most difficult decisions that divorcing parents must reach.
If a parent is unable to reach agreement with the child’s other parent, Virginia child custody laws call for acting in “the best interest of the child.” In these cases, a judge can rule on different types of custody:
- Legal custody determines who retains responsibility for the care and control of the child and who has authority to make decisions concerning the child. A judge can order joint custody, providing both parents decision-making responsibility in these areas even though the child’s primary residence may be with only one parent.
- Physical custody determines which parent receives primary custodial care of the child. Joint physical custody is also possible, which means both parents share equal responsibilities.
- Sole custody gives a parent the primary responsibility for the care of the child. That parent makes all the daily decisions about his/her child’s life.
- A parent who does not have primary physical custody of a child is legally entitled to visitation, although there are exceptions to this when it is not the best interest of the child.
If parents cannot agree to a visitation schedule, the judge will order one. This can include general visitation days as well as holidays, school breaks, summer, vacations and special occasions.
At GBSR Attorneys we do everything we can to help parents reach an agreement on custody and visitation matters rather than contest custody and leave these critical decisions to a judge who does not know the child.
Our attorneys also assist clients in navigating the state’s child support laws. Virginia Child Support Guidelines follow a formula that is based upon the combined gross income of both parents. Once the total support obligation is calculated, that amount is multiplied by the percent of the total income attributed to the person owing support. The result determines his or her obligation.
Many expenses can be added to the basic amount, including health care costs, extraordinary medical or dental expenses and child care costs.
In addition to initial child support orders, we represent parents seeking modification of support. If there has been a substantial change in financial circumstances, such as long-term unemployment or a critical injury or illness, we can petition the court to amend the original child support order.
If a party is failing to fulfill his or her child support or child custody obligation, we can petition the court to enforce the agreement. Child support can be obtained through wage garnishment if necessary.
Our Roanoke child custody lawyers are committed to putting you in the best possible position to maintain a strong relationship with your child. To schedule a consultation with our experienced family law lawyers, call 540-721-5110 or email us.
Interstate and International
Sometimes child custody and support issues cross state or national boundaries. Often this results when one parent takes the children out of the state, usually without the other parent’s permission or even in violation of a court order or other agreement. Here at GBSR Attorneys we have the resources, experience, and knowledge to ensure state and national boundaries do not keep families apart.