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What Virginia courts consider when awarding child custody

| Sep 29, 2020 | Family Law |

When appropriate, Virginia’s family court system may work to ensure that both parents get to spend time with a shared child. In some cases, though, your ex may not have what it takes to care for your child for one reason or another. In situations where you and your ex are unable to agree on who has your child and when you may ask a family court to intervene.

When you task Virginia’s family court system with making decisions about child custody, know that it may refer to a specific set of factors when doing so. What factors help courts determine where your child should live and when?

The age and physical and mental conditions of all involved

Your child’s age may help steer child custody-related decisions, and so, too, does his or her degree of physical and mental fitness. If your son or daughter is young, the court may seek to place him or her with the parent who has primarily handled child-rearing to date. The court should also consider your mental and physical health as well as that of your ex when making such decisions.

The existing relationships between parent and child

If you have historically spent far more time with your child than your ex, this may boost your chances of securing custody over him or her. Parents who have demonstrated an ability to meet the social, financial and emotional needs of a child may have a better chance at getting custody.

The willingness of parents to work together

The chances of you securing custody over your child also improve if the court believes you are going to encourage the relationship between your child and his or her other parent if appropriate. Conversely, limiting communications between your child and the other parent may hurt custody chances.