If you are a parent of one or more child and you are getting a divorce, then the most difficult part of getting a divorce for you is to deal with the custody case of your child. Considering the sensitivity of child custody cases, it is crucial to understand the prevailing law of the states in order to ensure a strong child custody case.
The Child custody law of Virginia states that both the parents of a child are considered the custodian. However, if both are planning to opt for a divorce, then either they can mutually decide the custody of the child or they could ask a court to decide for the child.. Divorce and custodial cases are often stressful for parents as well as for their children. Therefore, it is important for every couple to read the following basic guidelines to strengthen their child custody case.
Under the law of Virginia, there are five major types of a child custody. It is crucial to understand each custody case before filing.
- Sole Custody
- Joint custody
- Shared custody
- Split Custody
- Divided Custody
The parent acquiring sole custody of the child has the major responsibility of the child moral, physical and emotional needs. However, being the sole custodian, the parent has complete legal and physical right to their child. The custodial right allows them to take all the major decisions for the children as mentioned in the Virginia code 20-124.1.
“One person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child”
While in joint custody, both parents are jointly responsibe for their minor children.
The third type of custody allotted to the parents is Shared Custody, which applies the “90-day rule”. If the court has agreed upon a shared custody for the parents, then it means that the child’s physical custody is shared by the parents for 90 days each
Judges rarely go for Split Custody. As stated in the Virginia law Code section 20-108.2, that one custodial parent might not be the custodial parent of the other child. This custody is often discouraged by the judges as this decision adversely affects the children and their relationship with their siblings.
The fifth form of custody is the Divided Custody. During the divided custody, the physical and legal rights of the children are divided among the parents.
How do custodial cases function in Virginia Courts?
The court binds the judges to decide the custodial decision based on what is best for the child. Few important factors are listed below, which the court accounts for before making any final decision:
- Where will the child live after the Custodial decision? In order to make this process least painful for the child, the courts prefer that the child stays in a familiar environment.
- Who is the main caretaker of the child? The court will examine the relationship of the child with both the parents as see which parents is currently taking up the responsibility of the child..
- How is the current relationship of the parent with their child?
- Which parent is more cooperative in helping the child maintain a healthy relationship with the other parent?
- The preference of the child supported by a sensible reason.
- Were any of the two parents involved in physical abuse?
All these factors will strongly impact the decision of the judges, as they will only aim to select the best possible solution for the child.