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Loudoun County Attorneys > Fairfax Child Custody Attorney

Fairfax Child Custody

Custody is often the most pressing concern in divorces among spouses with children. If you are going through divorce, you were never married to the other parent and hope to obtain visitation or custody rights, or you know that it is in your child’s best interest to cut the other parent’s access off because their presence is doing more harm than good, the Fairfax child custody attorneys at Simms Showers are here to help.

Sole Legal Custody

If one of the parents has a job that requires constant travel, does not have a very long or strong relationship with their child at the time of the custody hearing, has a history of child or spousal abuse, or otherwise is not in a position to make important decisions on short notice, the other parent may be awarded sole legal custody. Parents with sole legal custody have all legal decision making rights when it comes to their child’s education, healthcare, the sports they play, and their day to day schedule.

Joint Legal Custody

Many decades ago, courts used to grant sole legal custody to mothers in the majority of divorces. That has changed, and most courts believe that it is in the child’s best interest to have both parents in his or her life. As such, joint legal custody agreements are commonly made between parents, or by judges. In this scenario, both parents have legal decision making rights.

Sole Physical Custody

If the child only lives with one parent, that parent has sole physical custody. The other parent may have visitation rights, however, during which the child may spend the night or multiple nights with that parent.

Joint Physical Custody

Children split their time between parents who have joint legal custody. Joint physical custody does not mean that both parents have to have the child with them 50 percent of the time. One parent may have the child the majority of the time, such as in a 60/40 split, for example.

Best Interest of the Child

While studies have suggested that children, on average, do best when they are raised by both parents—though “one really good parent is better than two not-so-good ones”—judges do not automatically assume that both parents should have legal custody. Other factors are used to determine what the child’s best interests are, under § 20-124.3, include:

  • Which parent has been the primary caretaker until now;
  • Preference of the child;
  • Work schedule of each parent;
  • Each parent’s caretaking ability;
  • Needs of the child;
  • Willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain the relationship with the child and to cooperate and resolve disputes with the other parent;
  • Age and health of each parent; and
  • More.

Call a Fairfax Child Custody Attorney Today

Much relies on the months that lay ahead; your and your child’s future is at stake. To ensure that your rights are protected, we urge you to call the Fairfax child custody attorneys at Simms Showers today at 703-879-1364 to schedule a free consultation.

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