Custody Lawyer Wytheville, VA
Among the many issues that must be considered when going through a divorce or separation, your child’s future is the most important. When you work with The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, you will meet directly with an experienced Wytheville child custody attorney who takes your questions and concerns to heart.
We work with all types of families, including unmarried parents, same-sex parents, stepparents, grandparents, relatives, and other concerned third parties. Our top priority is always to help a client parent create a stable, loving environment for their child or children around their custody objectives. We offer affordable hourly rates and accept credit card payments in family law cases.
Call our office to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options for seeking custody!
How Is Child Custody Determined in Virginia?
Virginia courts do not give preferential treatment to placing a child with a mother or father. Instead, judges carefully weigh a list of factors when determining the custody arrangement that will be in a child’s best interest, including:
- The role each parent played in a child’s upbringing;
- Age, physical, and mental condition of a child;
- Age, physical, and mental condition of the parents;
- The relationship between the child and each parent;
- The needs of the child;
- The role that each parent has played and will play in the future;
- The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s relationship with the other parent;
- The willingness of each parent to maintain a relationship with the child;
- History of family abuse; and
- Any other factors a court deems necessary and proper to the custody determination.
Do Virginia Courts Consider the Preference of Children in Making Custody Decisions?
In many cases, a judge may consider a child’s preference if they are of sufficient age. Children under seven are typically not interviewed, while children seven to thirteen years of age are sometimes asked about their preferences. Children fourteen and older must be asked about their preferences by Virginia courts.
What Types of Custody Are Awarded in Virginia?
Virginia allows for three types of child custody in divorce cases. First, sole custody refers to when only one parent has physical custody and decision-making authority. The non-custodial parent is typically granted visitation and may be required to pay child support.
The second type of custody is joint physical custody, where both parties share physical custody of a child. Third, joint legal custody allows both parents to have decision-making authority, regardless of where a child physically resides.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
Before a child custody order is given, judges encourage parents to work together to create a parenting plan that benefits all involved parties. A parenting plan specifies the date and times that a child will be with each parent, taking into account school schedules, vacations, and holidays. In most cases, if the parents can agree on an arrangement, the courts will enforce their plans, helping to save significant time, money, and emotional energy.
If you are interested in creating a parenting plan, you will need to outline the details surrounding your proposed custody agreement, including information such as:
- Which parent(s) will have physical custody of a child
- When visitation with a noncustodial parent will happen and for how long
- How vacations, holidays, and other special occasions will be shared
- How costs will be covered (including medical, education, necessities, extracurricular activities, and other costs)
When developing a parenting plan, it is critical to include as much detail a possible to avoid future issues or questions. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we represent clients in both contentious and noncontentious custody matters. Typically our focus will be on representing a client in the negotiation and development of a parenting plan; representing a client in court typically only occurs when a parenting plan cannot be finalized through negotiation.
Can My Ex Move Out of Virginia With My Child?
Relocations can be difficult for parents, children, and even a judge. While relocation can be a problem for any parent, it often becomes more challenging when one parent has primary custody while the other parent only has visitation rights. When a custodial parent wishes to move, often changes to a non-custodial parent’s visitation schedule need to be made (regardless of whether it is a welcomed change).
Parents wishing to relocate must prove why a relocation is necessary and that any visitation and/or custody adjustments are in the best interests of the child. If you are thinking about relocating or need assistance contesting a relocation, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation. We can listen to the facts of your case and explain your legal options for seeking your desired outcome.
Call Our Office to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Wytheville Child Custody Attorney Today!
When representing you, The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt will take the time to carefully explain the legal process, as well as your options and likelihood of success. As your custody case progresses, we will keep you informed of important developments so you always know what to expect.