Custody and Visitation Lawyer Abingdon, VA

Custody & Visitation Lawyer Abingdon, VACustody & Visitation Law Firm Abingdon Virginia

Child custody is one of the most emotionally challenging issues that our clients face. However, having a reasonable and regular schedule with a child can help ease this emotional strain and provide predictability during this transitional time.  There is no single child custody plan that fits every situation.  Thus, at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand that it is critical to focus on meeting each family’s individual needs.

As experienced Abingdon custody lawyers and visitation attorneys with years of experience, we tenaciously fight for fair custody and visitation, and work to protect our clients’ rights and relationships with their children.  Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation to learn how we can seek on your behalf a creative and pragmatic child custody plan tailored to suit your unique needs.

We offer affordable hourly billing rates in custody and visitation matters and accept credit card payments.

What Types of Child Custody are Awarded in Virginia?

We understand how stressful it can be to face the prospect of losing time with a child.  With this in mind, we provide honest, straightforward counsel and representation concerning the custody and visitation process, and how Virginia law may impact your custody objectives.  We are also there to answer your questions, and to help you through difficult child custody matters.

What Types of Custody Arrangements Exist in Virginia?

The following are the standard custody arrangements awarded in Virginia:

  • Joint Custody. Joint custody allows both parents to retain the legal right to make important decisions regarding a child (i.e., healthcare, academic choices, religious affiliation, etc.).  However, this type of custody generally requires both parents to co-parent effectively, meaning they must be able to reach a consensus regarding such decisions.  Joint custody pertains only to critical parenting decisions, meaning each party may not have equal physical contact with their child(ren).
  • Sole Custody. In highly contentious custody disputes in which parents cannot effectively communicate or make decisions, sole custody is typically awarded to one parent.  This custody authorizes only one parent or guardian to make parenting decisions, and the noncustodial party must follow and uphold such decisions.  Typically, custodial parents will also retain primary physical custody of the child, and the noncustodial parent will be granted visitation.
  • Shared Custody. Shared custody provides both parents with approximately equal physical custody of a child (e.g., a child may spend one week with the mother, followed by one week with the father).  Courts are increasingly ordering shared custody, as it provides a more significant opportunity for children to foster meaningful relationships with both parents.
  • Visitation. Visitation schedules can vary extensively; however, Virginia courts typically allow noncustodial parents to alternate weekends with a child.  Alternatively, a visitation schedule may be nonspecific, meaning it changes to accommodate variable work schedules and a child’s needs.  Further, in situations in which a parent has a history of substance or physical abuse, visitation may be supervised to ensure a child’s safety.

Do Virginia Courts Favor Mothers Over Fathers in Custody Decisions?

While historically mothers were favored over fathers in custody decisions, this is no longer the default determination.

As gender roles have progressed, so has Virginia’s child custody system.  Consequently, both parents generally start on equal footing in family law cases, and courts determine custody and visitation based on what is in a child’s best interests (including the factors noted below).

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we tenaciously advocate for our client’s rights, doing everything in our power to convince courts that our client’s preferred custody arrangement is in the best interests of a minor child.

What is Child Visitation?

In the context of a child custody case, visitation refers to a noncustodial parent’s rights to visit with a child (or as temporary custody that is granted for a limited period to a noncustodial parent or relative).

Virginia courts typically assume that it is beneficial for biological parents to have shared visitation unless there is a reason that it may be against a child’s best interests.  If you are interested in seeking visitation (or contesting visitation), we can represent you in seeking your visitation objectives.

How Does a Court Determine Custody in Virginia?

When parents can effectively communicate and reach an agreement on a custody plan (and a court agrees that the arrangements are in the best interests of a child), this is typically the easiest way to settle a custody matter.  In matters in which parents can agree on most matters but still have a few unresolved issues, it may be appropriate to pursue mediation.  This process typically involves consulting with a neutral third party to help parents communicate and reach a final determination.

Unfortunately, many divorce and child custody cases are highly contentious, making it nearly impossible to agree on a custody arrangement.  When this occurs, a court will typically establish custody rights and visitation schedules.  When deciding what is in the best interests of a child, a judge is legally required to consider the following factors:

  • The age and mental and physical condition of a child (giving consideration to a child’s changing developmental needs);
  • The age and mental and physical condition of each parent;
  • The existing relationship between each parent and child;
  • The needs of the child (giving consideration to other vital relationships, such as siblings, peers, and extended family members);
  • The role each parent plays in the upbring and care of a child;
  • The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s relationship with the other parent (including if one parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access or visitation with the child);
  • The willingness of each parent to maintain a close and meaningful relationship with a child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in resolving disputes regarding a child;
  • The preference of a child (if the court deems a child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age, and experience to express such preference);
  • Any history of family, sexual, child, or other abuse within the last ten years; and
  • Any other factors that the court may deem necessary and proper to the determination.

It is critical to understand that, except for violence or abuse, courts typically weigh each factor equally, and judges generally do not give preference to one parent over the other based on gender.  Ultimately, judges have broad discretion over custody and visitation arrangements but they are required to state on the record the reason for a final determination.

Am I Entitled to Visitation with My Child in Virginia?

Virginia law requires courts to provide a child with frequent and continuing contact with both parents.  When one parent becomes the primary custodial parent (the parent with whom a child primarily lives), the other parent is generally entitled to visitation (absent extenuating circumstances, such as a history of sexual abuse perpetuated by the parent on the child).

Parents can attempt to arrive at a consensus regarding visitation, and if they are successful, the court will usually approve the agreement.  However, if parents cannot amicably agree on a visitation schedule, the court will step in (in most cases) and make parenting time orders, which typically include alternating overnight weekend visits, holiday and school breaks (including birthdays), and summer visitation, as well as for instructions for pick-ups and drop-offs and travel responsibilities.

If you would like to seek to ensure that you have adequate parenting time with your child, to modify a visitation order, or are concerned that your child may be being mistreated during visitation, contact our office to learn how we can fight in seeking to protect you and your child’s rights.

What Is Supervised Visitation?

Although noncustodial parents are often awarded unsupervised overnight visitation with children, there are specific circumstances in which this may not be appropriate.  If the court believes that a child may be in danger of physical, mental, or emotional harm, then the child’s safety must be addressed in a visitation order.  In these types of situations, a judge may put certain restrictions in place, including (but not limited to):

  • Visitation supervised by a court-approved third party
  • A parent may be required to abstain from alcohol or controlled substance use for a certain period before visitation;
  • A parent may be required to attend and complete outpatient treatment (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or medical detox); or
  • Overnight visitation may be disallowed.

Can I Modify a Custody Order in Abingdon, VA?

Custody orders commonly become obsolete as a minor grows.  For example, if a child takes part in extensive extracurricular activities, it may be challenging to do so when alternating between homes.  Simply stated, what may have worked when a child was young may no longer be in the best interests of an adolescent in middle or high school.

If two parents agree to modify the terms of a custody order, a court will usually approve the changes.  However, if two parents cannot agree but one party believes an original order needs to be changed, a formal modification request can be filed with the court.  It is critical to note that courts favor stability; thus, a parent must typically demonstrate that since the original or last order, a material change in circumstances has occurred to justify a modification.

Until a custody modification order is approved, the original order must be followed, and a child cannot refuse to attend parenting time with either parent until they are 18 years old.  If a custodial parent refuses to follow the original order or interferes with the other parent’s visitation, he or she may risk violating a court order (i.e., in contempt of court).

If you are seeking a custody modification lawyer, please contact our office.

Call Our Experienced Abingdon, Virginia Child Custody Lawyers & Visitation Attorneys to Learn About Your Rights.

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand that no two custody and visitation matters are alike, which is why we always take the time to understand our clients’ unique situations.

If you are going through a child custody battle in Virginia and have questions, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced Abingdon custody and visitation attorneys to learn how we can fight for your legal rights and relationship with your child (or children).

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