Client-Centered Solutions

What factors affect child custody?

Parents in Aldie and throughout Virginia who file for divorce are usually concerned about who is going to get custody of their children. The court can award physical and legal custody to both parents or a single parent. The court’s decision on joint or sole custody will be based on the general circumstances of the case.

9 factors that determine child custody

You want what is best for your child, and so does the court. To make the right decision, the court looks at the following factors:

  • The age and physical condition of the child
  • The age and physical condition of each parent
  • The relationship each parent has with the child and whether they meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child
  • The needs of the child
  • The role each parent has played and will play in the upbringing of the child
  • The willingness of each parent to work towards an effective co-parenting plan
  • The willingness of each parent to maintain a close relationship with the child
  • The preference of the child if the court thinks they are of reasonable intelligence, understanding and age
  • Any history of family abuse

To ask the child for their preference, the court will interview them without the presence of the parents. Usually, the court will record the interview. The court might conceal the video of the interview from the parents if they believe that its contents could endanger the child. Also, the court might ask for an independent psychological evaluation to make sure they assess the child’s needs.

Mediation

If you believe that the court didn’t award the child custody fairly, you have the right to appeal their decision with the help of a mediator. If the mediator does not reach an agreement with both parties, the court shall proceed with a hearing unless they grant continuance.