Custody and visitation determinations are one of the most emotional and difficult cases for everyone involved, especially the children. We at Rose M. Pantazis, P.C. understand this and listen to your concerns, tailoring our actions to the unique needs of your family. We work with you to find the best solution for you, opposing parties, and most importantly, your children.
We always strive to settle child custody and visitation cases amicably. However, if a friendly resolution cannot be reached, we will do everything we can to solve the matter as quickly and painlessly as possible for you and your children.
A parent or interested party may be granted legal custody even if they are not granted primary physical custody. Physical custody is granted to the party who cares for the child on a daily basis, and the other parent or interested party is granted visitation. It is also possible to be granted joint physical custody, but this does not occur often. Legal custody, unless a parent is unfit, is typically granted to both parents. With legal custody, each parent has the authority to help make major decisions, including decisions regarding education, religion, and medicine.
To determine child custody, the court must determine the "best interests of the child." In doing so, the court considers the following factors:
1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs
2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;
5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;
6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;
9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in the Code of Virginia or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors the propensity of each party to actively support the child’s contact with the other parent; and
10. Any other factors that the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.
Experience in this area of the law, along with knowledge of court processes and judges' approaches is vital in a family law case. Please contact us for a consultation so that we can better navigate you through the process.
Nothing on this website is legal advice or creates an attorney- client relationship. Please contact us to schedule a consultation.