How to Resolve Virginia Beach Child Custody Disputes
Virginia Beach child custody disputes can be stressful. The laws regarding child custody in Virginia Beach are complex, and the custody process in general can be emotional for parents. It is in the parents' best interests to resolve Virginia Beach custody issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. This article will explain how to resolve such disputes.
In addition, you should consider contacting a Virginia Beach child custody attorney. Virginia Beach child custody lawyers can use their expertise to assess your case, explain your legal options and provide you wiith guidance throughout your entire matter.
Prepare for the Virginia Beach Custody Dispute
To help expedite the custody process, you should be prepared in advance.
One way to prepare is to educate yourself on what criteria the Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court uses to assess custody cases.
The court makes it a priority to consider what is in the best interests of the child. When making this determination, the court may consider the following factors:
- The age of the child
- The health of the child
- The wishes of the child
- The parents' relationships with the child
- The needs of the child
Gather any documentation you may have that supports your stance in the custody dispute. Your attorney can advise you further on what documentation may benefit your case.
Hire a Virginia Beach Child Custody Lawyer
Having an experienced lawyer on your side will help reduce the stress of the Virginia Beach child custody process.
To find a custody lawyer, you can ask friends and family for referrals.
You can also use a site like Attorneys.com. Whether you are disputing child custody in Church Point, London Bridge, Lynnhaven or another area of Virginia Beach, Attorneys.com can connect you to a custody lawyer in your area. Just call 1-877-913-7222, or fill out the form on this site. After answering a few questions. Attorneys.com will provide you with the contact information of at least one Virginia Beach child custody lawyer. The attorney will contact you within two business days, or you can reach out to him at your own convenience.
After you have found at least one attorney you are interested in, set up an initial consultation. The initial consultation is a meeting where you can learn about the attorney's practice, tell him about your case and decide whether to hire him. Make sure to prepare a list of questions before your meeting. Also, bring pen and paper to take notes with.
After your consultation, you should be able to make an informed hiring decision.
Consider Virginia Beach Child Custody Mediation
Early in your child custody dispute, the court may refer you and the other parent to mediation.
Virginia Beach mediation is a voluntary program where the parents in a custody dispute sit down and try to come up with a parenting plan together. The mediation is overseen by a mediator. The mediator serves as an impartial third party.
If a couple comes up with a parenting plan during mediation, it is then filed with the court. A judge reviews the plan, and if he approves it, it becomes an order. This legally binds the parents to the parenting plan.
However, if the couple does not come to an agreement during mediation, they will have to continue their dispute at trial before a judge.
Go to Trial
At trial, you and your attorney will present evidence to convince the judge of what you think is in the best interests of the child. The other parent and his attorney will get the same opportunity.
After hearing all the testimony and reviewing the evidence, the judge will make a custody determination. There are two types of custody that the judge will decide upon: Legal and physical.
Legal custody means the parent gets to make decisions regarding the child's upbringing, including medical and education-related decisions. Physical custody determines with whom the child lives.
Either type of custody can be awarded to one or both parents. Virginia Beach courts attempt to award legal custody to both parents unless such a decision would not be in the best interests of the child.
Once a custody order is signed by the judge, the parents become legally bound to it. If a parent wishes to make changes to the order, he will have to file a motion to modify a custody order with the court.