Bristol, VA Custody & Visitation Lawyer

Custody and Visitation Lawyer Bristol, VACustody and Visitation Lawyer Bristol, VA

When a divorce or separation involves a child (or children), custody and visitation are often of primary concern.  When parents come to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt looking for a Bristol child custody and visitation attorney, they are often seeking answers regarding what rules and regulations exist in Virginia and what kinds of legal options are available.

An experienced Bristol VA custody and visitation lawyer can be highly beneficial in seeking the desired custody and visitation rights that parents may want to have for themselves and for their children.  We know the types of issues you and your family may face.  Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation to learn about your parental rights and how we can address your custody needs.

Affordable Hourly Billing Rates – Credit Cards Accepted!

What Is the Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody?

Legal custody refers to the authority of one or both parents to make decisions for a child, such as what school the child attends, in what religion they may be raised, or decisions relating to medical treatment or care. If two parties can co-parent effectively, a court may award equal legal custody, granting each parent an equivalent say in important decisions.

Conversely, physical custody refers to where a child will physically reside.  Parents may also be awarded shared physical custody, where a child lives equally with each parent (such as living with a parent in alternating weeks).  However, it is more typical that one parent will have primary custody and the other parent will have visitation rights (sometimes also referred to as parenting time).

Commonly, it is often the case that both parents will have shared legal custody, while only one parent retains primary physical custody.  In this situation, both parents will have some degree of legal authority over a child; and typically there will be an agreement on critical matters affecting the child (which school to attend, the religion to be raised, and other major matters).  The noncustodial parent is then usually granted visitation and is obligated to pay child support.

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand that every family situation is unique; therefore, you need strategic guidance that fits your individualized needs and goals.  Throughout the entire process, we listen to clients’ concerns and seek to meet their personal objectives fully.

What Types of Custody Arrangements Are Typically Awarded in Virginia?

First and foremost, it is critical to understand the different custody options available in Virginia, including:

  • Joint Legal Custody. Joint custody allows both parents to retain the legal power to make critical decisions regarding a child (e.g., healthcare, academic choices, religious affiliation, etc.).
  • Sole Legal Custody. In high-conflict custody disputes in which parents cannot effectively make decisions, sole custody is typically awarded to a single parent.  This type of custody gives only one parent the legal right to make key parenting decisions.
  • Shared Physical Custody. Shared physical custody is designed to provide both parents with equal time with a child (e.g., a child may spend one week with the mother, followed by one week with the father).  Virginia courts regularly award shared custody, as it often provides the most significant opportunity for children to form meaningful relationships with both parents.
  • Visitation. If one parent is granted sole physical custody, the noncustodial parent will typically be granted visitation.  Visitation can be nonspecific to accommodate variable work schedules; however, noncustodial parents with consistent work schedules are often awarded alternating weekends with a child.

Child custody matters are among the most contentious and challenging family law cases, and Virginia child custody issues are no exception.  If you are facing custody, visitation, and parenting time matters, you will need a strategic custody and visitation plan built specifically for you and your family and a guide to help you navigate the process.  At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we have an experienced Virginia child custody lawyer ready to provide you with a path to a child custody outcome that will help you move forward.

Are Mother’s Always Awarded Physical Custody of Children in Virginia?

No.  Historically, mothers previously were more likely to be granted sole physical custody of children over fathers; however, as society has progressed, so has family law.  In Virginia, both parents have an equal opportunity to obtain sole or shared custody, as courts determine custody and visitation based on what is in a child’s best interest, not the gender of the parents.

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we fight for the rights of both mothers and fathers and will do everything possible to seek a favorable custody outcome that meets your goals and objectives.

How Is Custody Determined in Virginia?

In amicable separations (in which parents can effectively communicate and agree on most issues), reaching an agreement amongst the parties is typically the least cumbersome and most economical path to settling a custody matter.  However, many custody disputes are highly contentious, meaning that courts must step in and determine custody and visitation for the parents.  A judge is legally required to make such determinations based on what is in the best interests of a child, carefully weighing the following factors:

  • The age, cognitive, and physical health of a child (considering their changing developmental needs);
  • The age, cognitive, and physical health of each parent;
  • The existing parent-child bonds;
  • The needs of an adolescent, including their relationships with siblings and extended family members;
  • The caretaking previously contributed by each parent;
  • The propensity of each parent to support a healthy relationship with the other parent;
  • Each parent’s willingness to foster a relationship with the child;
  • The preference of a child (if the court deems an adolescent capable of expressing such preference)
  • Any history of physical or sexual abuse within the last ten years; and
  • Any other factors that the court may deem necessary and proper to the determination.

Am I Guaranteed Visitation with My Child in Virginia?

Unless there are specific reasons why it is not in the best interest of a child to visit with a parent (such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, etc.), Virginia law requires courts to provide frequent and continuing contact with both parents.  If one parent is awarded primary physical custody, the other parent is typically entitled to visitation.

Parents can set a visitation schedule by agreeing on the terms, or a court can do so on their behalf through issuing parenting time orders, which typically include:

  • alternating overnight weekend visits,
  • alternating holiday and school breaks (including birthdays), and
  • pick-up and drop-off instructions (including travel responsibilities).

In cases in which a court believes a child may be in danger of harm during visitation, a judge may order specific restrictions or requirements, including:

  • Supervised visitation;
  • Abstinence from alcohol or controlled substances for a certain period;
  • Completion of outpatient treatment programs; or
  • Daytime-only visitation

Call an Experienced Bristol, Virginia Child Custody & Visitation Attorney to Learn How We Can Fight for Your Rights!

Child custody is an incredibly challenging issue, as nothing is more personal than someone’s children, and it is vital to know all available options.  At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand.  We represent clients in seeking their desired custody and visitation objectives, working to show how such objectives are also in the best interest of their children as well as what the law seeks to achieve. If you are in need of an experienced Virginia family law lawyer, we stand ready to tenaciously pursue a favorable custody arrangement that suits you and your family’s needs.

Can Custody, Visitation, or Parenting Time Orders Be Modified?

Yes.  It is critical to understand that custody, visitation, and parenting time matters can always be modified upon an agreement between the parents, or if a substantial change occurs with the parents or with respect to the needs of a child.  If a substantial change has occurred with either parent or a child, an existing parenting-time order can be amended to suit a child’s best interests.  Our Bristol, Virginia family law attorneys are experienced in handling all types of custody and visitation matters, including (but not limited to) those involving:

  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Grandparents Rights
  • Paternity
  • Relocation
  • Visitation Orders
  • Parenting Time Orders
  • Supervised Visitation
  • Parenting Time Modifications

Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about your custody and visitation options.

What Our Clients Say

I recommend law offices of Mark T Hurt Courtney Cormier was so nice and helped us with our auto accident and personal injury case she done a great job!Thank you Courtney for everything you did!!!
Brandie Billiter-arnett
Brandie Billiter-arnett
14:28 22 May 21
I'm an out of state driver who received a speeding ticket in smyth county. Mark Hurt Law firm helped me get the charge completely dismissed at a very affordable cost! Great Firm , highly recommend!
Luke Robinson
Luke Robinson
21:48 22 Apr 21
A very professional team who understands the stress of being in an accident. Our paralegal, Courtney Cormier, made us always feel as if things were being taken care of and it was nice to be worry free.
Kristina Murray
Kristina Murray
18:29 03 Mar 21
Diana Phipps
Diana Phipps
13:46 03 Mar 21
After my car accident, Mr. Hurt and his team worked very diligently to get me a fair settlement. Courtney Cormier, a paralegal on the team, was an invaluable asset to me. She always kept me informed of everything that was happening. I couldn't have had a better experience.
Caleb & Kristina Murray
Caleb & Kristina Murray
21:54 22 Feb 21
I could not be more pleased with the service I received. He is a wonderful lawyer and he gets the job done.
Country living woman Mountains
Country living woman Mountains
05:52 22 Dec 20
This law firm has great people skills and are very professional and efficient I would definitely recommend anyone to this law firm.
Lucas Green
Lucas Green
18:06 06 Dec 20
Courtney done a very good job with my case at the abingdon va office very quick and efficient great job highly reccomended my auto accident was in may and alreadh we have settled for maximum amount thanks so much
James Smith
James Smith
06:57 05 Dec 20
I contacted the law offices of Mark T. Hurt regarding a traffic ticket I received. Initially I was concerned because I live between Florida and New York, and with Virginia being midway, handling my ticket would be a major inconvenience, and I wanted to keep my record free of any infractions.Choosing Mark T. Hurt to represent me was the best choice I made, and it was further improved with the assistance of Rhonda, who contacted me once they received my request. Rhonda is one of those unique people who has mastered the fine line between being perfectly professional and friendly. Every conversation we had, was made to feel as if I were speaking to a close friend. One of the most appreciated aspects of working with her was her understanding and respectful of my schedule and time.For my work, I have a hectic schedule and very few free moments, so being able to handle things quickly and effectively is a priority for me, and Rhonda understood that and took care of everything as if she knew exactly what I was expecting. I even got sick while working with Rhonda, and her first comment was to wish me well. She also went out of her way to find solutions regarding my traffic citation that worked around my schedule. The price was fair, and when considering the quality of work and more importantly, the quality of people you will be reliant upon to ensure the best possible outcome for whatever your situation is, they can ask for 10x more than what I paid and it would still be worth it.All in all, recommendation for this law office, and for Rhonda herself, could not be higher. If you are searching for someone to represent you in any legal matter whatsoever, this is the office to work with. Thank you again Rhonda.
Al Fortunatti
Al Fortunatti
00:47 07 Nov 20
My lawyer Courtney in charge of my case was very professional, and very responsive to my personal injury and auto claim. She had it settled in a timely manner very polite and I would recommend this office to anyone.
Samantha Mays
Samantha Mays
21:28 06 Nov 20
I would highly recommend this law firm! Courtney helped me with my personal injury case, she answered all my questions and was always responsive throughout the entire process.She advocated for me efficiently and strived for the best possible outcome.
SCTC-Kimberly Dickey
SCTC-Kimberly Dickey
17:16 27 Oct 20
I'm not a Virgina resident and had found this firm through Google. I have a traffic violation case in tennessee and was desperate to get awnsers. This law office's staff was so helpful even though I wasn't able to even be a client, I believe the person who awnsered was Ashley. After their direction on finding another attorney and my case I was able to push my court date back and will be able to find someone to represent me.I'm not even a client, they didn't have to help me at all! I just wish they practiced in the tri cities area! Would recommend this group!
Benjamin Smith
Benjamin Smith
18:34 22 Oct 20
I contacted the affordable Law Offices of Mark T Hunt regarding a ticket I received. They requested certain documents from me, went to court on my behalf and got the ticket dismissed! The entire process was easy, fast and efficient. When I emailed or texted them their response time was impeccable!I would HIGHLY recommend them if you are looking for a professional attorney!
Davina Waller
Davina Waller
16:41 22 Oct 20
Under the circumstances that I had to have an encounter with Mr. Hurt, if I needed another team to represent me, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. The sheer communication that I had with Ashley was phenomenal. I was informed every step of the way. I was directed to each step of the process. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this law firm and would HIGHLY reccomend them. They were able to have my ticket completely dropped with no points added. Thank you all so much for all your hard work you did for me.
Chris Sanders
Chris Sanders
16:56 21 Oct 20
Mark and his team were very professional and courteous. They done a excellent job with my traffic ticket. I would highly recommend them.
Shannon Hanes
Shannon Hanes
16:26 21 Oct 20
My son got a speeding ticket in Virginia going back to school in Alabama. We contacted Mark Hurts office and they were very responsive and handled the entire situation for us.
Mary Ellen Fennell
Mary Ellen Fennell
22:54 20 Oct 20
The Law Offices of Mark Hurt made the process of dismissing my ticket so effortless! They were told me all the steps I needed to take to make Mr. Hurt’s job easier, and he was able to dismiss my ticket! I’m so thankful I used Mark Hurt to represent me in court. I would highly recommend him to anyone I know.
Cristina Marie
Cristina Marie
16:33 15 Oct 20
Friendly. Efficient. Professional.I’m thankful!
Moody Witoutcoffee
Moody Witoutcoffee
03:56 09 Oct 20
Rafael Oliveira
Rafael Oliveira
11:13 06 Oct 20
Cleber Bandi
Cleber Bandi
00:06 06 Oct 20
Lindaura Williams
Lindaura Williams
23:47 05 Oct 20
Flavia Oliver
Flavia Oliver
14:48 05 Oct 20
T. O.
T. O.
19:55 03 Oct 20
anita R Oliveira
anita R Oliveira
15:25 03 Oct 20
I highly recommend anyone to choose The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their issues! They were extremely nice, helpful, and professional, especially Courtney! Every question and concern was always answered. I am thankful for all their help!!
Brittany Gobble
Brittany Gobble
17:35 29 Sep 20
They were very helpful, and answered all of the questions I had, and got great results from my court hearing, I would highly recommend!
Bodie Breitbach
Bodie Breitbach
15:49 21 Sep 20
This law firm is the best of the best and Courtney was just wonderful in every aspect. Extremely helpful and answers every question and always willing to help! Mark Hurt and his crew are the best! Thank you all for helping my family in a very difficult time. Highly recommend.
Tony Statzer
Tony Statzer
14:41 17 Sep 20
Late in July I was charged with a reckless driving ticket in Greenville County, Virginia. I got caught going 83mph in a 55mph zone. It was my first offense on my driving record and I did not need a misdemeanor which could hurt my career. I was assured by Mrs Rhonda Hurt not to worry and that her team would take care of it. On my end, the only effort I put in was taking a 12 hour defensive driving course and sending her my driving record. Two months later, the result of my hearing was a reduction to a defective equipment/non driving violation with 0 points off my record. The other good part about this case was I did not have to go to court. In court fees I paid $68 and a fine of $78 for my ticket. Mrs. Rhonda and her team put together a miracle in that county and I cannot give her enough credit. I sincerely recommend this firm because I know they worked hard on my case and will do the same for you. Thank you again!
Marqus Keith
Marqus Keith
14:54 15 Sep 20
I highly recommend this law firm! Rhonda answered all my questions regarding social security questions and she put my nerves at ease! Im so thankful for her kind spirit and her honesty!
Catina Ratliff
Catina Ratliff
17:51 05 Sep 20
The law offices of mark hurt was very good to me and my family great people great service and great results courtney was our paralegal that presided over the case could not have asked for more to be done.
Danny Kiser
Danny Kiser
18:34 31 Aug 20
I got a traffic ticket while I traveled passing through VA in May.It is a big deal if you have the Law Section: 44-1/46/2-862 and speeding excess of 80 MPH in your ticket. It is a Criminal Misdemeanor Reckless Driving Charge!I saw Mark T. Hurt's Law office simple letter, I decided to give a call and get a free consultation.From the call, Rhonda provided a detail explaining the criminal charge of the Misdemeanor Reckless Driving ticket is about. She is a very caring and honest person, no sale pressure to me to take their law office at all.Once I decided to use their firm to represent me in court, it didn't take an hour, I was told totake some actions and wait for cout day to see the result. That is that simple and no worry at all. On the court date, I received text messages from lawyer's office. Guess what? The lawyer did a miraculous and fantastic job for me in the court.The Reckless Driving Misdemeanor ticket has been reduced to an Improper Driving traffic ticket.Thanks to Mark T. Hurt's Law office team! They are not only very professional and transparent but also does the best quality job you can find. I strongly recommend them to be your lawyer if you need one in VA.
C.Y. Kuan
C.Y. Kuan
01:07 23 Aug 20
Having landed a Reckless Driving (99 in a 65) on my way back to FL from WV, I came across this law firm when searching something along "best reckless driving lawyers Virginia."Mr. Hurt's firm dropped my "Criminal Misdemeanor" to an improper driving. Which from my understanding is right next to a normal speeding ticket.All expenses accounted (payment, court cost, fine), I'm out roughly $1,100 ; but I'd much rather pay that once today, than every six months to an insurance company for the next... God knows how many years. I am extremely grateful and overjoyed with my outcome.As far as speaking with the great ladies at these offices, everyone was always kind, quick, and considerate. They answered all my questions, explained all my options and possible outcomes. I had a clean record, and had now experience dealing with courts or lawyers, so their patience and knowledge was especially helpful. If I ever screw up again (I pray to God I don't) I hope it's in Virginia, so I can call upon Mr. Hurt's offices.
Nomadic Wolf
Nomadic Wolf
21:06 21 Aug 20
I would like to thank Hope for helping me get my SSDI. She was a true professional a great help with my success. great asset to the law firm and honest lady could not ask for anyone better. Thank You, David
David Harden
David Harden
21:17 20 Aug 20
I had a miracle outcome
jose feliz
jose feliz
22:14 18 Aug 20
I got stop in wyth county saw good reviews on Law of Mark, i can say i highly recomend them, got stop 79mph on a 60mph, they all i had to pay was a low amounth of $200 fine plus court cost $76 and they got me out with zero point infraction, if you looking for lawyer on traffic tickets here its the place to go with! Very professional and representatives will be there to help any time!
Brisio Gaza
Brisio Gaza
23:12 15 Aug 20
This law firm is the up most professional and highly knowledgeable in it's field of work. Courtney is awesome and a pleasure to work with she is the best at her job. We highly recommend this law firm!
Christy Statzer
Christy Statzer
02:52 11 Aug 20
Courtney Cormier and the law office, was amazing! Courtney was very efficient, timely, and responsive. I had an issue with a previous employee, but due to that, Mr. Hurt wanted to ensure that I was completely satisfied, so he made adjustments on his fee, just to make sure I was happy! You couldn't ask for a better paralegal or law office! I highly recommend this firm!
Jessica Ann Roberts
Jessica Ann Roberts
20:10 30 Jul 20
I called seeking help with a traffic ticket I received. I spoke to the legal assistant, Ashley and she was very helpful.
Nathan
Nathan
13:54 30 Jul 20
my Attorney Courtney Cormier was amazing and very helpful and patient with me and the case and always keep me updated on all the steps and procedures of the process i would definitely recommend her and this office they are amazing
Branden Lewis
Branden Lewis
15:24 21 Jul 20
These guys got my reckless driving charge of a 94 in 70 down to a improper driving. You won’t regret hiring them to help you out!
Haley Walser
Haley Walser
23:22 20 Jul 20
Great experience with Courtney Cormier! Thanks for the professional help!
Alisha Fagan
Alisha Fagan
16:26 20 Jul 20
Thank you for doing the best you guys did an amazing job with my case I appreciate everyone that worked on my case I definitely recommend this law firm!!
Abdullah Shaikh
Abdullah Shaikh
14:56 16 Jul 20
Great people! Very helpful and professional.
Heather Foster
Heather Foster
21:53 15 Jul 20
Wonderful, family oriented law firm. The staff are very attentive and courteous especially Courtney. I highly recommend this legal establishment!
Duane Cormier
Duane Cormier
17:25 15 Jul 20
Amazing group of people to work with Courtney is fantasticI would highly recommend this group
Kara Ginter-Hensley
Kara Ginter-Hensley
21:41 14 Jul 20
Great firm!! Diana will walk you through everything you need to take care of a traffic ticket.
Braden Alexander
Braden Alexander
19:28 14 Jul 20
They are very professional, and respectful with everybody, including one of his employees, Rafael
Flavia Oliver
Flavia Oliver
17:01 14 Jul 20
The personnel who work here are constiment professionals. Rhonda Hurt kept me abreast of all proceedings and changes without the need for me to follow up, allowing me to maintain a piece of mind knowing that the Law Offices of Mark T Hurt were on the job (Rhonda kept me up to date through text and e-mail).During the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak all court dates were changed. I received a personalized letter from Mark assuring me that he and his team was on the job and was going to see my case through to the end while keeping me looped in.Thank you for all your help and persistence to see the great outcome I received.I highly recommend anyone to use the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their issues!
Jon H
Jon H
11:34 13 Jul 20
They are a hard working team that care about their clients.
Frederick Baker II
Frederick Baker II
05:13 26 Jun 20