4 Mistakes to Avoid in a Virginia Divorce That Could Affect Custody

For many parents, the most stressful and emotional aspects of a divorce relate to worries about their ability to maintain a close and loving relationship with their children, both through the divorce and afterwards. We want to do everything we can for our children, and we want to be there for them in the years to come. But the worry over having that relationship strained or impeded by the divorce can cause parents to Read More

My Ex is Talking Badly About Me to Our Children, Should I Confront Him/Her?

Whether you are recently separated and pursuing a divorce, or already divorced and well-entrenched in a custody arrangement with another parent, having your ex-spouse talk badly about you to your children is, at best, annoying and, at worst, creating lasting divisions and damage to your parent-child relationship, which could persist indefinitely. As members of a free society, we are all entitled to voice our Read More

How is Drug Testing Used in Virginia Custody Cases?

When the parents of a child cannot agree about custody and visitation arrangements for their child in Virginia, the state court will ultimately have to make its own decision regarding the legal and physical custody of the child. The court uses a “best interests” standard in making this determination.  In particular, parental drug use has an enormous impact on the interests of that child and on the ability of a parent Read More

How Long Must Child Support Be Paid in Virginia?

Under Virginia law, both parents have a duty to provide support to their minor children, regardless of whether the parents are currently married or were married in the past. Child support cases usually occur following a divorce or where the father has not married the mother of a child and is not providing support, and, if paternity of the child can be established in the case of an unwed father, the courts will Read More

Child Visitation Laws in the State of Virginia

A parent who does not have custody of a child (also called a noncustodial parent) in Virginia will usually have a right to visitation with the child, even where the parents were never married. However, exercising this right may require the parent to obtain a court order. Below, we provide a brief overview of the child visitation laws in the state of Virginia. The Difference Between Custody and Visitation Both parents Read More

Determining Paternity in a Child Custody Dispute

When there is a dispute over the custody of a child in a Virginia court, that court is going to primarily look to the two biological parents of the child in determining who should have custody. It is possible for other people such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles to win custody of a child, but that will generally only occur where both biological parents are found to be unfit and/or unavailable. When a child is born Read More

How Does Alcohol and Drug Use Affect a Custody Battle in Virginia?

The latest high-profile divorce case to hit the headlines has been that of A-list actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. We know very little about the personal details that led to Jolie filing for divorce in a Los Angeles courthouse in September, but what we do know is that she asked for sole custody of the couple’s six children, and the filing suggests she decided to pursue a divorce only days before she filed. Media Read More

Religion and Child Custody in Virginia: Who Gets to Decide?

For many parents going through a divorce, being able to guide the religious upbringing of their children is a major concern. This is especially the case when the parents are of a different faith, or one parent is opposed to the child being exposed to any religious teaching or community. This can, of course, be challenging for the child as well, who may be getting conflicting perspectives on faith from each parent. Read More

Advice for Divorcing Dads Who Want to Retain Child Custody

Dads going through the divorce or other custody process in Virginia often believe the system is rigged against them. This frustration can boil over into a cynicism about the family law process, causing them to give up their rights or to act out in ways that may hurt their case. No doubt that family law and custody issues can be emotionally trying and many fathers do not want the courts to be involved in their Read More

Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody?

When two parents are working through the divorce process and negotiating issues like divisions of property, custody, spousal support, and child support, so many surprising and new questions can arise. After all, the state (usually) doesn’t step in when you are functioning as a married family to dictate how money is spent and how children are cared for. But to obtain a valid divorce, the court will want to see either Read More