A child typically does best in a family where two parents are involved and available. This does not have to apply to only married parents in Virginia. Divorce is hard but it is possible for two people to successfully parent their children when they are no longer married. A recent study points out four areas involving child custody matters that are considered vital to maintaining the child’s health and sense of well-being.

Perhaps the most important finding was that a father’s time is more valuable than the money he may be able to contribute. Working 80 hours a week to provide financial support does not enable a father to bond with his child. It has been shown that fathers of premature babies who visit them in the hospital experience similar physiological changes to what mothers experience. Changes in the male brain are evident in the increase of oxytocin and a decrease in testosterone.

In an effort to maintain one’s ability to spend as much time with one’s children as possible, it is beneficial to remain in close proximity to one’s ex-spouse. If a child has to travel too far, time can work against a parent in that a child may resent having to give up activities or time with friends due to the commute time needed to visit a parent. Close proximity also allows for an increased feeling of stability. It is also important for the parents to remain positive and open in communication and in how they speak to the children about each other. Even a change in tone or body language can convey negative feelings regarding the other parent and children are quick to pick up on those cues.

A person in Virginia who is considering divorce and is concerned about the best arrangements for one’s children may wish to consult with a family law attorney. An experienced lawyer can review the family situation and help to steer the family toward a child custody arrangement that takes the needs of the children into consideration. The attorney can help one arrive at an agreement that is beneficial to all the parties involved.