Child Custody
Our team has decades of experience helping clients in the Hampton Roads region.
Parents arguing in front of their children

Norfolk Child Custody Enforcement Attorneys

Gaining or losing custody of your children often involves an emotionally charged and complicated process. While you want what is best for your child, confusion may surround your interpretation of what the court looks at to make custody decisions.

If either parent is unhappy with the court’s decision, contesting a custody agreement may be necessary for several reasons. To help you determine what to do next, contact an experienced Norfolk family law attorney with Montagna Law.


No matter what life throws at you, we can help you solve your legal problems.

Call (877) 622-8100 or complete the online contact form to request a free consultation.


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How is Child Custody Determined in Norfolk, Virginia?

At the heart of every child custody decision by the court is the best interest of the child standard, as outlined in the Virginia Code (Section 20-124.3). To reach a decision, examples of what the court will consider include the following factors.

  • Age of the child
  • The child’s mental and physical condition
  • Each parent’s age and mental and physical condition
  • The child’s current relationship with each parent
  • The identified needs of the child, including sibling relationships
  • Each parent’s role concerning the care and upbringing of the child
  • Any history of domestic violence or child abuse

Which Virginia Courts Handle Custody and Visitation?

Two courts can handle child custody cases in Norfolk, Virginia. These are:

  • Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, located at 150 St. Paul’s Boulevard, 5th Floor, Norfolk, VA. If no divorce filing is currently underway, your case will go before a family law judge in this court for determination.
  • Norfolk Circuit Court, located at 150 St. Paul’s Boulevard, 7th Floor, Norfolk, Virginia. The Circuit Court handles divorce proceedings, child custody orders, and support matters.

Are There Different Types of Child Custody in Norfolk, VA?

The Commonwealth of Virginia courts recognize several types of custody arrangements.

Joint Legal Custody

Joint legal custody allows both parents to maintain responsibility for the child’s care and welfare. Both parents:

  • Are responsible for the child’s care and control
  • Share equal rights in making important decisions for the child

Joint Physical Custody

With a joint physical custody arrangement, both parents:

  • Share actual time with the child
  • Share custodial care of the child

Shared Child Custody

Shared child custody is an amicable arrangement that:

  • Allows parents to spend equal time with the child
  • Is a way for parents to work together for the care of that child

Split Legal Custody for Children

Split legal custody means both parents can provide input into the making of important decisions concerning:

  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Discipline
  • Other welfare matters as they arise

Temporary Child Custody

Temporary child custody provides for a child to live with one specified parent on a temporary basis until a court can hear the case. This type of custody occurs by:

  • Agreement of the two parents

OR

  • Appointed by way of a pendente lite hearing

Sole Physical Custody

Sole physical custody speaks to where the child will reside, with the following stipulations:

  • The child will live with one parent permanently in a single location.
  • The other parent may still retain visitation or partial legal custody of that child.

Sole Legal Custody

Sole legal custody:

  • One parent has parental rights to make essential decisions for the child.
  • The non-custodial parent will have no right to provide input into such decisions.

Sole Custody

Sole custody focuses on the rights of one particular parent, granting them:

  • Primary responsibility for the child’s care
  • Ability to make daily decisions regarding the child’s life
mother talking to young daughter

How Norfolk Determines Visitation

Visitation rights differ from a custody agreement. Essentially, a visitation order outlines how often parents can spend time with the child.

Courts will review the following when making a determination:

  • Each parent’s work schedule
  • The distance between parents’ residences
  • The child’s school location and schedule
  • Whether visitations will enhance bonding
  • Any past incidences of putting the child at risk
  • Preferences of the child, if old enough to voice that information

How are Visitation and Custody Orders Enforced in Norfolk, Virginia?

When one parent fails to adhere to court orders regarding visitation or custody, you can file a motion with the court where the non-complying parent must “show cause” as to why they should not be held in contempt. You can also seek the help of the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE).

How Does Norfolk Determine and Enforce Child Support Payouts?

The court will determine child support payouts, considering the following factors:

  • Gross income of each parent
  • Any spousal support
  • Expected childcare expenses
  • Health insurance for the child
  • Medical and dental care costs

If the parent fails to pay, enforcement efforts can occur, such as through the garnishing of wages.

Can Fathers Receive Child Support in Virginia?

In Virginia, either parent can receive child support. If the father is the primary custodial parent or even shares custody, he is eligible for child support payouts from the mother of the child if she makes a higher income.

father reading to his young daughter

Can I Change My Child Custody Agreement in Norfolk?

To change a child custody agreement in Norfolk, you must present evidence before a Virginia family law judge that shows a significant material change in your circumstances. Material changes may involve any of the following:

  • Significant changes in your financial situation, employment schedule, or situation
  • Relocation to a different geographical area
  • Changing needs of your child
  • A change in the health status of one parent
  • Any other type of circumstance that can produce a negative impact on the child

Steps to change a custody agreement in Norfolk include:

  • Filing a motion with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court that originally ordered the custody agreement
  • Waiting as the family law judge considers and evaluates your motion

Why Work With Montagna Law

Child custody arrangements and enforcement can be an overwhelming process for Norfolk residents. Montagna Law is here to help you through these times and also support you in the future should you need to make modifications.

Our dedicated and compassionate attorneys value the attorney-client relationship and will always provide one-on-one personal attention. Our Norfolk law firm has over 50 years of experience and a history of reaching satisfying outcomes. Our clients continue to rate us highly as well.

Testimonials

“Montagna [Law] helped me with my divorce. I couldn’t be happier to have [them] on my side. Being a military wife with a military husband and a child, I felt that the firm had my child’s needs in mind. I got the best advice… I would recommend [Montagna Law] to any woman in a similar situation.” — Sarah O.

“I had the opportunity to meet with Montagna Law recently. They were courteous, kind, and professional. As soon as the case started, I was put at ease because the Montagna law firm was in full control. [Their service] was exceptional, and the outcome could not have been better.” — Clarine W.

Child Custody Enforcement Doesn’t Happen Without Legal Stipulations in Place. Work With a Norfolk Custody Lawyer Today!

Undergoing child custody and enforcement proceedings can be overwhelming and stressful, yet they are necessary for the long-term welfare of your children. Let the Norfolk law firm of Montagna Law help. We serve clients throughout Hampton Roads, including Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Newport News, and Chesapeake. Call 877-822-8100 today to schedule an appointment, or use our online contact form.

Visit Our Office

Address:
Montagna Law
425 Monticello Avenue Suite B
Norfolk, Virginia 23510-2408
Phone:
+1 (757) 622-8100
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Frequent Answered Questions

If There is No Court Order, Who Has Child Custody?

With no court order in place, the following will prevail:

  • Both parents will retain equal rights concerning the child.
  • Both will have the right to spend time with the child.
  • Responsibilities can be split between the parents.

Neither parent is able to claim that child over the other.

Are Child Custody Schedules Determined by Age?

Child custody schedules are determined by the following age range categories:

  • Baby (birth – 18 months)
  • Toddler (18 months – 3 years)
  • Pre-schooler (3 – 5 years)
  • School-aged (5 – 13 years)
  • Teenager (13 – 18 years)
Is There Anything that I Should Not Say in a Child Custody Mediation?

Child custody mediation requires that each parent remain polite and professional. What not to say during these mediations includes:

  • Statements that are unduly offensive and/or combative
  • Disorganized thoughts that do not contribute to the mediation
  • Disrespectful comments to the mediator
  • Anything against your child’s best interests, showing your focus is elsewhere
Can I Move Out of State With No Custody Agreement?

Before moving out of state when there is no custody agreement in place, discuss your situation with a Norfolk family law attorney. Otherwise, specific court rulings and statutory laws may be used against you.

How Can I Get Full Child Custody as a Father?

As a father, you can seek full custody. Be sure to take the following actions.

  • Create a parenting plan
  • Maintain a close relationship with your child
  • Show that you can care for your child
  • Maintain records of visitations
  • Seek legal advice from our Norfolk child custody attorney

Written By Jon Montagna

Attorney

Jon Montagna received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from American University in Washington D.C. and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1999. Jon practices law in the Hampton Roads Virginia area.