Help With Your Child Custody Case
Every family is different. There is no single child custody plan that works for every situation. When you are involved in a custody dispute, it is important to make sure that your attorney is focused on meeting your family’s needs.
At Weisberg & Weisberg, PLLC, based in Newport News , Virginia, our lawyers help parents protect their rights while making sure their children are well cared for. Our family law attorneys will offer creative child custody solutions that are tailored to your family’s unique situation.
Solutions To Emotional Family Law Matters
Child custody is one of the most emotional family law issues our clients face. We know how stressful it can be to face the thought of losing your child, so we will give you honest, straightforward advice on how to navigate the difficult process and explore your options regarding:
- Joint custody: Joint custody generally requires the ability of parties to co-parent — that is, to be able to discuss basic parenting issues and reach an agreement regarding those issues. Legally, both parties retain the right to make decisions regarding the child’s schooling, religious affiliation and medical care.
- Sole custody: Sole custody is often awarded when the parties cannot effectively communicate with each other and cannot reach an agreement regarding basic parenting decisions. Sole custody authorizes only one party to make fundamental parenting decisions. In these cases, the noncustodial parent is bound by the decisions of the custodial parent.
- Shared custody: Shared custody refers to parents having equal time with their child. Shared custody works well for parties who communicate effectively and live close to each other. An increasing amount of literature suggests that shared custody is an excellent option for children living in separated households. As a result, we are finding courts increasingly ordering shared custody.
- Visitation schedules: There are many types of visitation schedules. Many courts tend to lean toward parents having alternating weekends with their children. As stated above, however, many courts are also ordering shared custody, where children alternate staying with a parent on a weekly basis. Some parents are also able to enjoy nonspecified visitation schedules, where they change the times of visitation depending on their schedules as well as the child’s needs. There are also situations in which supervised visitation is appropriate, such as when one parent has a history of abuse or a substance abuse problem.
Ultimately, mothers and fathers start out on equal footing in custody cases, and the court’s function is to determine what order is going to be in the best interest of the child. Our job is to convince the court that your goals meet that determination. This is why it is so important to have an experienced child custody attorney in your corner.
When A Guardian Ad Litem Is Involved
As far as the courts are concerned, child custody disputes are all about doing what is in the child’s best interests. Guardians ad litem (GAL) are often appointed to represent children’s interests.
We have extensive experience working with GALs throughout Hampton Roads. As soon as a GAL is appointed, we will help him or her understand our client’s situation. We facilitate conversations between our clients and GALs to help bring everyone onto the same page.
Contact Us For Advice
Our child custody attorneys represent mothers, fathers, grandparents, and extended family members in child custody and visitation cases. Call 757-659-9611 in Newport News. You can also contact us online.
Understanding The Dos And Don’ts Of Virginia Child Custody Proceedings
There may be no other aspect of your divorce that is more contentious than your child custody proceeding. The orders that are established by the court will essentially define your parental rights, and the process can become extremely emotional. The court is very careful to establish orders that serve the best interests of the children, and the parents’ behavior throughout the process can directly impact the court’s decision.
At Weisberg & Weisberg, PLLC, in Newport News, we understand how important it is for parents to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children after a divorce. However, we have also seen the things parents do in an effort to improve their own chances of a favorable result that, in the end, do nothing but hurt their standing with the court.
Our child custody FAQ offers a brief list of the dos and don’ts we recommend our clients keep in mind in these matters:
- Act in your children’s best interests at all times: Provide loving care and support. Maintain a healthy and nurturing living environment.
- Act responsibly in all matters pertaining to your children: Show up for appointments on time. If it is your day to pick them up from school, don’t be late. In everything you do, show that you are an attentive and responsible parent.
- Provide for your children’s basic needs: When the children are under your care, make sure they are well fed, bathed and nicely dressed. These may seem like very fundamental things, but parents who do not deliver on the basics can be at a serious disadvantage.
- Speak ill of your co-parent: One of the factors the court looks at in determining custody is the inclination of the parents to support the child’s relationship with the other parent. Disparaging a child’s parent, whether directly or to others, will cause the court to not look favorably upon your case. As a result, it is essential that caution and discretion are used in all forms of communication and social media. Always assume that anything you say or write will be heard or seen by a judge.
- Act out: We know that these are terribly trying times, but you need to keep your emotions in check. You need to understand that your every move is being watched, and even the slightest misstep could hurt your efforts to obtain custody.
- Make threats: This might be the worst thing you could do. Regardless of what the context of the threat might be, just the fact that you made one could be used to paint you as a volatile person who does not ultimately have the best interest of your child in mind.