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Custody and your children: What you need to know

Determining child custody and support in Virginia is based on a number of factors. Your child's safety is paramount, so the relationships you have can affect your custody.

One thing you should know is that if you decide to move out of the area, you could hurt your chances of getting custody of your children. Why? Judges don't like to move children unless there is a good reason; on top of that, the fact that you were willing to leave your children behind may mean a judge will be more likely to grant custody to your ex-spouse.

When it comes to custody, it's most common for courts to place children in the home where they'll be best cared for. There are no longer biases toward a mother receiving custody over the father, even if some may believe so. Custody may even be awarded to both parents, which means that they share equal responsibility. This would work best in situations where both parents live close together and get along.

When it comes to your children, whoever has primary custody rights will be the person who can determine visitation times that are fair and reasonable for the other parent. If you don't feel the other parent will be fair to you, you can discuss this with your attorney and the court to make sure you'll have proper access to your children. Most of the time, parents can come to an amicable agreement about fair visitation times; for instance, one may find that visitation on the weekends is beneficial so the other has time to work a job or participate in a hobby.

Source: FindLaw, "Getting Custody FAQ," accessed Dec. 16, 2015

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