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Creating Child Support, Custody And Visitation Agreements

The most important element in any divorce is the welfare of the children. Usually both parents have their children’s best interests at heart.

The Most Important Question

The first thing people who are divorcing want to know is, “Who will have custody of the children?” It can be difficult to make decisions about custody and visitation without an order and without the help of experienced legal guidance.

Four Types Of Custody

Sometimes custody arrangements can be created quickly and without excessive disagreement. Unfortunately, mental health issues, addiction, job loss, military service or moves and other challenges can complicate this process. It is important to understand that under the law, there are four main types of custody:

  • Legal custody: One or both parents may have legal custody. It means that they can make legal decisions on issues that impact the child/ren.
  • Physical custody: The parent who lives with the child/ren has physical custody. Both parents may have physical custody if the child/ren spend equal time at both residences.
  • Sole custody: This is when one parent only has both physical and legal custody of the child/ren.
  • Joint custody: When the parents live apart and the child/ren spend equal time with both parents, this is called joint custody. This type of custody arrangement can involve joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both.

A parent who does not have custody can still have visitation. If a child lives with one parent and has visitation with the other, the parent the child lives with is call the custodial parent. The other parent is called the noncustodial parent.

What Can I Do If I Am Not Allowed Visitation?

Most states recognize the importance of both parents being active in the child’s life. Obstacles such as drug abuse or addiction or a history of domestic or child abuse may prevent a parent from having custody or visitation. In these situations, the parents can work with an attorney to create a plan that is in the child’s best interest and safety. These plans can involve reasonable visitation schedules, as well as allow the noncustodial parent to still have a voice in major decisions made on behalf of the child/ren.

A Word About Child Support

In Virginia, the amount of child support you will have to pay or are eligible to receive is determined by the court, which uses a set of support guidelines that were determined by the Virginia Legislature. While these payments are difficult to modify, it is not impossible. This is especially true if there has been a major change in one parent’s income. Speak with an established family law attorney about your specific case.

Help Is Available Now

If you have questions regarding custody, visitation or child support, call GravesWhetzel Law, PLLC. Speak with someone who cares about your future. We have been serving the people in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the surrounding communities for over 15 years. Call us to speak with an experienced child custody lawyer: 540-208-0865. Questions? Email us and we will respond promptly.