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Child custody factors in Virginia

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Family Law |

When parents in Virginia go through a separation or divorce, child custody becomes a critical issue. The state considers several factors to prioritize the child’s best interests in custody determinations.

Understanding the relevant factors can help parents navigate the custody process more effectively.

Family member age and health

The court looks closely at the child’s age as well as their physical and mental health. These factors influence the most suitable living arrangement and define the child’s educational, emotional and medical needs.

The judge also evaluates each parent’s physical and mental capabilities. They assess each person’s ability to meet the child’s unique needs in a stable, nurturing environment.

Parent-child relationships

The bond that the child has with each parent plays a significant role in custody decisions. The court considers which parent has been the primary caregiver. They also evaluate the quality of the relationship between the child and each parent.

The involvement of each parent in the child’s life, including participation in schooling and extracurricular activities, influences custody decisions. The court favors arrangements that maintain stability and continuity. A parent’s willingness to support the child’s relationship with the other parent is also a significant factor.

The court takes any history of family abuse very seriously. Evidence of abuse by one parent can heavily impact the custody arrangement to protect the child’s safety and well-being.

Virginia has a rate of 3.1 divorces per 1,000 residents each year. When parents split, child custody determinations aim to protect the child’s best interests. Parents should strive to consider the welfare of their child as they negotiate custody.

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