Divorcing parents in Virginia may be eager to cut ties with one another and go their separate ways. However, despite the end of their marriage, parents will still have one tie to one another -- their need to raise their child together. Sometimes parents are on good enough terms with one another that they can "co-parent" -- that is, make major life decisions on behalf of the child together and agree on the day-to-day raising of the child. This can be the case if parents share legal custody and physical custody.
In what was known as the "tender years" doctrine, it used to be presumed that most mothers should be the primary caretaker of their child, especially if the child was young. So, when parents divorced, oftentimes the mother was awarded primary custody, and the father was only awarded visitation. However, times have changed, and it is now recognized that fathers also play an important role in a child's life.
Years ago, it was often assumed by many courts in Virginia and elsewhere that, when parents divorced, the mother was the most suitable parent to receive sole custody of the child, while fathers were relegated to visitation periods on weekends and perhaps one evening a week. This was based on the assumption that the child had a primary attachment to his or her mother. However, courts across the nation are ruling more in favor of shared custody and what meets the best interests of the child.
When parents in Virginia divorce, they will need to execute a parenting plan that addresses when each parent will have the child in their care. If parents cannot reach an out-of-court agreement regarding physical custody of the child, they can turn to the court to have a judge issue an order regarding where the child will live and when. However they are made, these child custody decisions are very important, as they could affect the child for the rest of his or her life.
Parents in Virginia love their children, even if they no longer love one another. When divorce is on the horizon, decisions will need to be made on which parent will have custody of the child and when. In Virginia, child custody decisions are made based primarily on what is in the child's best interests. There are numerous factors the court will consider when determining the best interests of the child for custody and visitation purposes.
Kids throughout Virginia are getting ready for the new school year. For parents that are divorced, however, preparing their child for school involves more than simply buying new shoes and school supplies. They will need to make sure that their child custody and visitation schedule is workable during the school year, and that they and their ex are on the same page when it comes to their child's education. The following are some tips on co-parenting during the school year.
Sometimes some of the toughest and most emotional decisions parents in Virginia must make when they are getting a divorce have to deal with child custody. It can be difficult to reconcile that there will be times when your child is not in your care, but will be in the care of your ex-spouse periodically. Moreover, such important decisions can be difficult to make if you and your ex-spouse still have hard feelings against one another.
Parents in Virginia who are seeking a divorce may be very concerned about how the divorce will affect their children. While initially a divorce may be very hard for a child to adjust to, in the end parents can take steps to help their child heal from the divorce.
The standard used by courts in Virginia and nationwide when it comes to making decisions regarding child custody is "the best interests of the child." The idea is that, by focusing on the child's needs, it will help the child transition to life after divorce in a healthy manner. According to research, shared parenting can be preferable in certain child custody situations, absent, of course, abuse or neglect. However, when it comes to making child custody decisions, shared parenting may be shunted to the side in favor of one parent having sole physical custody of the child, limiting the other parent to mere visitation periods. This is because outdated myths surrounding child custody still prevail.
When a couple in Virginia has a child, they naturally want to give their child the best upbringing possible. If they are in a romantic relationship with one another, parents will work together to provide their child with all of the child's physical, mental and emotional needs. However, even if their relationship does not last, parents will find that they may still be able to work together to raise their child. They can do this through co-parenting.