Child Custody & Visitation

Our experienced attorneys at Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. in Fairfax provide clients with effective legal help to obtain the most favorable outcomes when facing custody issues.

Understanding The Various Types Of Child Custody

In the realm of family law, physical custody is a legal term that refers to the parent's right to provide daily care and a residence for the child. By comparison, legal custody refers to the parent's right to make important decisions about the child's education, healthcare, religious upbringing and social activities.

The courts can award parents joint physical custody, in which case the child takes turns living with one parent and the other based on an agreed-upon schedule. Courts can also award sole physical custody to one parent and, when doing so, the child lives with the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent has visitation rights.

Legal custody is also subject to joint or sole custody orders. With joint legal custody, both parents share the right to make important decisions about the child's schooling, health care and so forth. When one parent has sole legal custody, that parent makes all the legal decisions for the child.

Child Custody Laws In Virginia

Unless both parents can agree between themselves, Virginia statutes dictate that the court must determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. To accomplish this objective, courts consider a number of factors outlined by the statutes, such as the child and parents' ages, physical and mental health, the child's needs, the parents' past roles in raising the child, their ability to maintain a relationship with the child along with their ability to support contact with each other. A history of domestic violence is also a factor the court considers when awarding custody.

Fathers' Rights In Virginia

In most cases, Virginia courts favor frequent and continuing contact with both parents. The court cannot give undue presumption or preference that favors either mothers or fathers when awarding custody or visitation. Even when a father is not the custodial parent, he is free to and encouraged to participate with his children in extracurricular and other activities.

Modifying A Child Custody Order

Changes occurs in parents' and children's lives, and these changes often make it necessary to consult with an attorney about an existing family law order. A parent may have a job advancement opportunity in another state. However, a move makes custody modification necessary. Aside from custody, a parent may need to modify child support when subject to job loss or health issues. Typically the divorce lawyer who initially handled your divorce and knows your case is the best person to help you with modification.

Contact Us For Legal Guidance You Can Trust

Call Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. at 703-591-7475 or send us an email for effective legal help with your child custody matter.