If you are a parent who is going through a divorce, you probably have quite a few questions about how child custody will be determined and how disputes regarding child custody issues will be resolved. The attorneys here at the David McCormick Law Group are well-versed on the laws governing child custody matters here in Virginia Beach and throughout the state.

We understand how the judge goes about determining child custody and we believe it is important our clients do as well. When you know what to expect and you are educated on your parental rights, you are in a much more favorable position to be able to defend those rights.

To get you started, here are the answers to some of the most common child custody questions:

How is child custody determined?

There are many factors which a judge must take into consideration before being able to make a decision regarding custody of a child. The child’s age, physical and mental needs, the parent’s age, the health of the parents, each parent’s lifestyle, the emotional bond each parent has with the child, each parent’s income or earning potential, the child’s current living arrangement, how custody would disrupt the child’s current routine and more will all be considered in child custody cases. The child’s preference, as well as what is going to be in his or her best interests is also extremely important.

Is it true mothers are more likely to retain custody than fathers?

While it may have been true long ago that mothers were more likely to be given custody of a child in a divorce, this is not the case today. Both parents have equal parental rights. Custody is awarded based on a parent’s ability to care and provide for his or her child. It is also based on what would be most ideal for the child. In some cases it is more beneficial for a child to stay with his or her mother, while in others the father is better prepared to take on the role of sole custodian.

Is custody always awarded to one single parent?

Custody does not have to be awarded to only one single parent. In many cases, the judge would prefer to give joint custody to the parents so they each can continue to play an active roles in their child’s life. Joint custody can be awarded in the form of partial physical custody, legal custody or both.

If I am not granted custody, will I be given visitation rights?

Unless a parent has a history of abuse or is actively engaged in activities that present a risk to his or her child, visitation rights can be pursued if joint or sole custody is not granted. If you want to be given visitation rights, we advise you hire an experience divorce attorney to help you present your case and increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement arrangement.

How are child custody disputes usually resolved?

Parents who are going through a divorce cannot be expected to agree on all of the terms of their divorce, particularly when it comes to issues regarding the custody and support of their children. If you and your spouse are unable to resolve your disputes, the judge will likely have to step in and resolve them for you. Should this happen, you will no longer have a say in how child custody is awarded. To help you resolve your disputes, we have found mediation to be a viable solution in this type of situation. If you are able to resolve your child custody disputes through mediation you can avoid having such an important issue determined by someone other than you and your spouse.

Contact Our Firm Today

Hiring a divorce attorney from our firm can help you avoid a long, drawn-out custody battle and improve your chances of being able to reach a custody arrangement amicable to you. Call our Virginia Beach divorce attorney now to find out more about what we can do for you.