Child Visitation in Northern Virginia

One of the main reasons people choose stay in failed marriage is because they are afraid of how the divorce will affect the children.  There is no question that divorce is going to be a major change and it will certainly be emotion for the children involved of marriage, or of the respective parents in the event they were never married, as is sometimes the case.  However, most child and family mental health professionals believe that as the long as both parents remain in a child’s life and explain that they both love that child, and divorce is not in any way the child’s fault, the child’s emotional wellbeing is likely to be better than if he or she is living in home with a failed marriage.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, unlike the courts in Washington, DC for example, the court general has a preference for one parent to have sole custody of the minor child, and the other parent will have visitation to greatest exempt possible within the confines of the situation, and as deemed in the best interest of the child.

One common situation that we see with our Northern Virginia, divorce clients, is a concern that if the client is not awarded primary custody, he or she will forced out of the child’s life.  This should not be allowed happen. You should speak with an experience custody and visitation attorney who is willing to negotiate with the other parent, but if that fails, to everything possible within the law to get you the visitation to you are rightfully entitled.

At this point, it would be helpful to look at the factors courts will use to make a determination as to visitation in the event the parties cannot agree. All of the follow factors will be applied as the court deems are in the best interest of the child:

  • The age of the child.
  • The physical and mental health of the child.
  • The relationship between the child and both parents.
  • The needs of the child with consideration to the other siblings, peers and family members.
  • What role each parent will play in the future.
  • The ability of each parent to support the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child.

These are just some of the factors that a judge can and will often use when making a determination as to visitation in Northern Virginia cases.  One thing that should be noted is that while the judge will inquire as to the child’s preference, this is not necessarily a determining factor.  This is especially true if the child is very young.  The court is required to do what he or she believes to be in the best interest of that child based upon the evidence and the record before the court.

The family law attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group have years of experience handling domestic relations cases in jurisdictions across Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland.  Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (703) 370-5555.

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