The Virginia courts take decisions about minor children very seriously, including choices about where the child will live and how much support they will receive during and after a divorce. Whenever there is an issue regarding a child, the judge is required to look at the decision through the lens of what is in the best interests of the child, but what exactly does that mean? At Select Law Partners, PLLC our experienced divorce and family law attorneys are here to help. Call or contact us today to learn more.
Best Interests of the Child in Virginia Factors
Virginia law has defined a number of factors that a judge must weigh when determining what is in the best interests of the child. The court has discretion in awarding the various factors more or less weight than the others when making a determination. According to the statute, these elements include the following:
- The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving consideration to their changing developmental needs;
- The age, physical, and mental condition of each parent;
- The parent/child relationship with each parent, giving consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life as well as their ability to meet the emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of the child;
- The needs of the child and other important relationships of the child, such as siblings, peers, and extended family members;
- The role that each parent has played and will play in the future in caring for the child;
- Whether each parent actively supports the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent as well as whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
- The willingness and ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and their ability to co-parent and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be able to express such a preference;
- Any history of family abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, or an act of violence, force, or threat that occurred no earlier than ten years prior to the date a petition is filed; and
- Any other factors as the court deem necessary to the determination.
Why You Need a Qualified Attorney
Whenever there is an issue involving a child emotions can run high and everyone involved in the dispute suffers from considerable stress. Not only can an attorney serve as a logical and zealous advocate for you and your child’s interests, they also understand the factors involved in determining the best interests of the child and how to best craft an argument that these elements weigh in your favor. To learn more, contact our office today.
Call or Contact Us Now
Do you have concerns about an issue involving your minor child in the Fredericksburg or Northern Virginia areas? If so, the knowledgeable attorneys at Select Law Partners, PLLC are here to help. Call our office or contact us today to schedule a consultation for your case now.