In divorces involving underage children, child visitation, or parenting time, and custody are often major sources of conflict. Parents often lack knowledge about the actual process of determining visitation and custody, resulting in a great deal of confusion. There are certain questions that are commonly shared by divorcing individuals with minor kids.
- How Is Parenting Time Determined?
In Virginia, courts look at multiple factors and then make a decision based on the best interests of the children. Since they often suffer negative psychological effects from the upheaval in their lives, this naturally includes the kids’ ages and the state of their physical and mental health. Judges also take into consideration the parents’ ages, health and relationship with their kids among other elements. Depending on age and maturity, the court may allow the children themselves to express a preference.
- Does Virginia Favor the Mother?
It is commonly presumed that the court naturally leans more towards the mother. However, the state favors neither the father nor the mother. This holds true even if the parents had never been married, as long as paternity has been established.
- Can Someone With a Criminal Record Get Custody?
A criminal past can indirectly hurt a person’s chances of getting custody, though it is not one of the direct factors reviewed by the court in parenting time and custody considerations. How much it does depends on the actual severity of the offense and the number of offenses committed. However, it does not outright remove the possibility of obtaining custody and visitation. A child visitation lawyer Virginia Beach VA can help in such situations. Any history of abuse, violence or threats is one of the parenting time considerations, regardless of if there was a conviction or not.
The determination of parenting time and custody can be complex, but it all boils down to what best serves the interests of the children.