When parents in Virginia get a divorce, child custody negotiations can sometimes turn unpleasant. In some cases, one parent may accuse the other of abusing the child. The other parent might counter with a claim that the abuse allegation is untrue and that what is actually happening is a phenomenon known as parental alienation syndrome, in which one parent attempts to turn a child against the other parent.
Mediation is an alternate approach to litigation for many divorce-related concerns, including child custody. Mediation can help couples more peacefully and efficiently resolve some of the contentious issues they have to face during their divorce process such as child custody.
At times, the way that child custody arrangements are reached may seem confusing or unclear to parents which is why it helps for them to understand the standard that guides child custody determinations. The best interests of the child standard guides child custody decisions so parents should understand what the standard means and what it means for them when applied to their child custody situation.
Any parent facing child custody concerns may have many different questions on their minds to which they need answers. It can help for parents to know what to expect from the child custody process and how child custody decisions are made.
Virginia courts generally give great weight to allegations of domestic violence (or family abuse, as the phenomenon is called in Virginia), but a recent study appears to indicate that such allegations may backfire against the parent who is alleging abuse by the other parent.
Many divorces in Northern Virginia involve minor children. Issues such as child custody and child support bear directly upon the child's welfare, but in many cases, the child does not have independent representation to ensure that these issues are fully litigated in their best interests. To remedy this, the Virginia court system appoints "guardians ad litem" (GAL). If a judge in a divorce case appoints a GAL for the children in the case, the GAL will act as the child's attorney for the duration of the case. A GAL can also be appointed for an adult who is not able to understand or participate in the proceeding.
Understanding how child custody is determined is of exceptional importance to most divorcing parents, which is why they should be familiar with how child custody decisions are made and determined. Virginia child custody decisions are made based on what is in the best interests of the child and may be based on different types of child custody arrangements.
These days there are many different types of apps aimed at helping divorced parents in Virginia and across the nation who want to co-parent their child. A new app on the market, coParenter, aims to help make co-parenting easier. The app provides a means for parents to share calendars and schedules. It also has location-based tools that can be used during child custody exchanges and provides a way for parents to request a one-time change in their normal parenting-time schedule if necessary. Parents can keep track of their expenses relating to the child, as well as reimbursements. It also provides tools parents can use when it comes to making day-to-day care decisions with regards to raising their child.
Parents in Virginia who are going through a divorce may want to make joint custody work, so that they can both play a meaningful role in the day-to-day upbringing of their child. However, joint custody does not always mean that the child must be shuffled from one house to another every week. In one unique child custody arrangement known as "birdnesting," the child stays put in the family home, and it is the parents who take turns living there with the child and residing in a separate apartment when it is not their time to have custody of the child.
Parents in Virginia who have divorced may have ended their union with one another, but they still retain a certain relationship: they are both still parents to their child. This means they must be able to communicate and cooperate with one another, so that they can raise their child in a manner that provides the child with stability and the ability to retain a meaningful relationship with each parent. For this reason, some parents who can manage to work together despite their divorce will decide to co-parent.