Leesburg Child Custody
Child custody is a difficult subject to broach with a former partner or spouse, particularly when your views do not align with theirs. Whether you are currently going through divorce and would like to talk to an attorney about your options, or you have come to a stalemate with your partner, the Leesburg child custody attorneys at Simms Showers can help you through this difficult time.
Types of Child Custody
- Sole legal custody—There is only one custodial parent who has sole legal decision-making capacity over the child. These legal decisions include where the child lives, where they go to school, healthcare decisions, religion, how the child spends their days, and more.
- Joint legal custody—Both parents have shared legal decision-making capacity.
- Sole physical custody or primary physical custody—The child either lives with this parent only, or this parent is the primary caretaker of the child. Even if the child lives with both parents, this parent does the majority of the caretaking.
- Secondary physical custody or visitation—This parent has caretaking responsibilities, but the child lives with them less than 50 percent of the time.
Creating a Parenting Plan / Time Sharing Plan
Most courts believe that shared custody and/or joint legal custody is best for children. The parents may have equal physical custody or one may be the primary caretaker, while the other parent has the child less than half the time. Either way, if both parents have joint legal custody then they both have legal decision-making rights, and must be able to create a time-sharing plan that works for the other party, not just themselves. A good time-sharing or parenting plan is achievable only when each party is able to compromise and regularly communicate with the other. While formal parenting plans are not required in Virginia, they go a long way in creating ease in everyone’s life and prevent conflicts from arising.
Deciding What is in the Best Interest of the Child
If parents cannot come to an agreement on custody outside of the courtroom, a judge will have to make the decision based on what they believe is in the best interest of the child, according to Va. Ann. Code § 20-124.2. Factors that are used to make this determination include:
- Health of each parent;
- Living situation of each parent;
- Employment obligations of each parent;
- Ability of each parent to promote the relationship between their child and the child’s other parent;
- Willingness of each parent to cooperate with the other;
- Which parent, if either, has done the majority of the child raising; and
- Much more.
Call a Leesburg Child Custody Attorney Today
A Leesburg child custody attorney can help you negotiate with the other party, advocate for your wishes, and help draft a parenting plan. If a disagreement cannot be resolved, our lawyers are prepared to fight for your rights in the courtroom. Call Simms Showers at 703-879-1364 to schedule a consultation today.