Client-Centered Solutions

Results-Oriented Solutions To Child Custody Matters

No two families are alike. No two custody cases are the same either.

I am attorney Joseph H. Beale, and I know that custody issues are often the most important concern that divorcing parents throughout Herndon and greater Virginia face. The emotions involved can be overwhelming. I work closely with each of my clients to address any practical concerns and achieve outcomes that will reduce conflict and stress as much as possible.

How Child Custody And Visitation Rights Work

The parent-child bond is precious and irreplaceable, so courts in Virginia typically prefer to award parents shared physical custody. Sometimes, particularly when one parent is in the military or travels frequently for work, it may be necessary for one parent to have primary physical custody while the other parent has visitation rights – but contact with both parents is encouraged.

A parenting plan can often allow both parents to retain more control over their family and their future, rather than relying on the wisdom of the court to set all the custody terms. It is also a cost-effective method of resolving issues, which can ease financial pressures.

In certain cases, however, primary physical custody and restrictions on visitation are necessary to protect the children. This is particularly true in situations where domestic violence or substance abuse is involved. If this is your situation, I can help you obtain protective orders and fight for sole custody of your loved ones.

Virginian Child Custody Agreement FAQs

I understand the gravity of custody disputes, recognizing that safeguarding your child’s welfare is paramount. Here are some common child custody questions I receive from clients:

What is a child custody agreement?

A child custody agreement is a legal arrangement that outlines how parental responsibilities will be shared after a separation or divorce. This parenting plan generally includes the following two main components:

  • Decision-making element: Determines how legal decisions concerning the child’s life, such as those related to health, education and general welfare, will be made by the parents or guardians
  • Custodial schedule: Establishes the allocation of physical custody and visitation schedule between the two parents or guardians, specifying when the child will reside with each parent and the visitation arrangements

Various custody arrangements exist, each serving different family dynamics and preferences. Some common types of custody arrangements include the following:

  • Joint custody: Both parents share physical and legal custody of the child.
  • Sole custody: Grants one parent exclusive physical and legal custody of the child while the co-parent parent may receive visitation rights.
  • Split custody: Involves dividing the children between the parents, with each parent having sole custody of at least one child.
  • Bird’s nest custody: A child remains in one primary residence, and the parents take turns living in the family home.

Mastering the legal concept of Virginia custody arrangements with the help of an experienced attorney can help you easily navigate the divorce or separation process.

Can a minor child choose the custodial parent in Virginia?

Virginia courts prioritize the child’s best interests when determining custody. While a child’s wishes can be considered, the final legal decision rests with the judge. If the judge does decide to hear the child’s thoughts, the court will consider the child’s age, maturity level and understanding of the situation when weighing their preference.

Let Me Help You Protect Your Relationship With Your Children

Your family is important. Make sure you are talking to a lawyer who will make your case a priority. I offer solid recommendations that clients can rely on. While I aim for a negotiated solution whenever possible, I am not afraid to defend your interests – and your children’s interests – in court.

I understand the sensitive nature of these issues and will treat your case with the utmost respect and confidentiality. Please call 571-335-3735 today to make an appointment at my office in Herndon or Aldie. I can also be reached online.