Roanoke Child Custody & Support Attorneys
Fighting for Your Parental Rights & Your Child’s Best Interests
Child custody and support are often divisive issues in pending divorce cases, post-divorce situations, and between unmarried parents. Because they involve the well-being of children, they strike close to the hearts and minds of parents. As a parent, you want to continue having a close and meaningful relationship with your child. You also want to ensure your child receives the financial support needed throughout childhood to meet his or her needs. This matter is also vitally important to family court judges who must always consider the child’s best interests.
If you need legal representation in a child custody or child support matter in or around Roanoke, we strongly urge you to seek our help. At Magee Goldstein Lasky & Sayers, PC, our family lawyers have the experience and skills you need for these critical issues. Our firm has been serving the needs of individuals and families throughout our area since 1980. We are dedicated to providing the competent and compassionate legal counsel you need to resolve these issues as effectively and efficiently as possible. Whether through informal or formal negotiation tactics or through courtroom intervention, our attorneys will thoroughly prepare your case and fight for the best possible outcome that both serves your child’s best interests while protecting your legal rights.
Child Custody & Support Issues in Virginia
Child Custody & Visitation
Virginia law provides guidance to parents and family courts on this matter by stating that judges must make decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. In general, family courts favor joint custody arrangements so that the child has the benefit of a continuing relationship with both parents.
Custody is generally broken down into two types: 1. Physical custody outlining where and with whom the child will live and 2. Legal custody determining which parent will have the authority to make major life decisions about the child. In cases where both types of custody are joint, parents will share in all decisions and the child will alternate residences. However, joint physical custody may not be a 50/50 arrangement. For example, the child may live with one parent during the school week and the other parent on weekends. Parenting plans can be drafted to provide appropriate and optimum arrangements for all contingencies throughout the year.
If parents cannot agree on custody arrangements, the court will decide by looking at various factors such as the ages, health, and needs of all parties, the parent-child relationships involved, the role each parent has had in the child’s life, the willingness of each parent to foster the child’s relationship with the other parent, and many more. A parent’s history of domestic violence, substance abuse, or criminal behavior can negatively impact this issue.
Once a custody and visitation schedule has been approved and ordered by the court, it cannot be changed without petitioning the court for a modification.
Children need and deserve financial support from both parents when the parents no longer share a family home. Under Virginia law, child support is a mandated obligation for separated, divorced, or unmarried parents. Generally, the noncustodial parent provides child support payments to the parent who retains primary physical custody of the child.
The state provides guidelines as to how to calculate this support through a formula. The formula is based on the parents’ incomes, the number of children needing support, and other factors. Courts assume that the amount calculated via the formula is correct. However, deviations from this are allowed under the law where the payment calculated is unfair to a parent or child. The court will consider numerous factors to determine whether to increase or decrease the payment amount and they must provide written justification for the deviation.
Trusted Legal Help From Our Roanoke Child Custody & Support Lawyers
Working together with your co-parent is recommended in resolving child custody and support matters. When you and the other party can come to an agreement, the stress and emotional toll of a courtroom battle can be avoided for both parents and children. Our firm can help you negotiate such matters. However, when acceptable agreements cannot be made between you and the opposing party, we will tenaciously fight to protect your rights and interests in family court.
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Over 30 Years of Experience