The role that each parent has played in the upbringing of their child is one of many factors that a court considers in coming to a child custody determination. However, it is very often the most important.
For example, in child custody cases where a father is seeking custody of a small child, the fact that only the mother has cared for the child as a stay-at-home parent would most likely persuade a court that the mother was the best primary caregiver. This would be due to the fact that the father would be unable to fill that role because he was never called upon to do so in the past. This “role determination” can be insurmountable in the absence of other very compelling reasons to change custody. Under Virginia Law, a court is to determine what custody or visitation schedule is a child ‘s best interests. This is done by applying the facts of the specific case to a list of ten enumerated factors. Although all factors are considered, the role that each parent has played in their child’s upbringing up to that point is a powerful indication of the role that they will continue to play in the future.
The difference between a parent who loses custody of their child who they have primarily raised, and a parent that retains custody, is an experienced lawyer who can demonstrate the role that the parent has played in the past. The lawyers at Bush & Taylor have tried thousands of family law cases. Put their knowledge and expertise to work if you are facing a potential child custody change.
See what the Virginia Code says about the role that each parent has played: