Child Custody and Visitation

In many divorces one of the hardest challenges faced by couples is child custody and visitation. At times a solution can be reached easily, and at other times, coming to a custody and visitation agreement can be difficult. Our experienced Suffolk, Virginia Beach & Eastern Shore child custody and visitation lawyers have years of experience working with clients to represent the best interest of the child and in winning either more custody or visitation.

A court will award custody based on what is in the best interest of the child and will make the decision after listening to a variety of factors presented regarding each parent. There are multiple forms of custody that can be awarded:

  • Physical custody is when one parent has the legal right to have their child live with them. Many courts will award joint physical custody where the child spends significant time with both parents, and where one parent acts as the custodial parent, with primary physical custody, and the other non-custodial parent will have visitation and parenting rights.
  • Legal custody of a child is when one parent has the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf, for example about schooling, religious beliefs, and medical care. Courts can award joint legal custody, where both parents take part in making decisions for the child.
  • Sole physical or sole legal custody of the child is where that parent will be the only parent who makes legal decisions for the child or has the child exclusively living with them. Sole custody is not as common, and is generally only awarded when one parent causes direct harm to the child, or when a parent is deemed unfit.

A court can also establish visitation rights, and what sort of visitation a parent will be able to have with their child. The different forms of visitation are:

  • Unsupervised visitation is the most common form of visitation in where a non-custodial parent can take the child to his or her home, go on outings, or do various activities. Unsupervised visitation is normally follows a schedule either decided by the parents or court system.
  • Supervised visitation is when another adult must be present during the designated time. Sometimes this adult may be a grandparent or it could be a social worker or court-appointed designee that will supervise the visit at a specified location.
  • Virtual visitation is where visitation occurs electronically either through video, instant messaging or email.

The attorneys at Bush & Taylor are here to help fight for the best interest of your child. Come and visit our Virginia Beach, Eastern Shore or Suffolk law offices for a free consultation, or call us at (757) 935-5544.