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.
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.
Two courts can handle child custody cases in Norfolk, Virginia. These are:
The Commonwealth of Virginia courts recognize several types of custody arrangements.
Joint legal custody allows both parents to maintain responsibility for the child’s care and welfare. Both parents:
With a joint physical custody arrangement, both parents:
Shared child custody is an amicable arrangement that:
Split legal custody means both parents can provide input into the making of important decisions concerning:
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:
Sole physical custody speaks to where the child will reside, with the following stipulations:
Sole legal custody:
Sole custody focuses on the rights of one particular parent, granting them:
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:
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).
The court will determine child support payouts, considering the following factors:
If the parent fails to pay, enforcement efforts can occur, such as through the garnishing of wages.
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.
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:
Steps to change a custody agreement in Norfolk include:
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.
“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.
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.
With no court order in place, the following will prevail:
Neither parent is able to claim that child over the other.
Child custody schedules are determined by the following age range categories:
Child custody mediation requires that each parent remain polite and professional. What not to say during these mediations includes:
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.
As a father, you can seek full custody. Be sure to take the following actions.
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.