Harrison & Turk P.C. Help Parents Uphold Their Custody Rights
The law office of Harrison & Turk P.C. helps parents with child custody matters in Virginia. We help parents uphold their rights at times when they need sound legal advice and support. You never know when the most unconditional bond may require a lawyer’s assistance.
When a child comes into the world, one of the last things on a parent’s mind is child custody. Of course, a child belongs with its parents! It is a natural, presumptive, and supported familial state. In fact, we may consider it odd when parents and children fail to have a bond. Even as children age and siblings have their growing pains or may not otherwise get along, we still rely on family ties.
Family Difficulties Can Turn Into Custody Issues
Family squabbles can happen from time to time. Most disagreements settle eventually into different patterns. Children, for the most part, are fairly resilient during times when parents may not always agree. Perhaps they may spend time away from home with grandparents, aunts and uncles, or older siblings. If there is discord at home, there is usually some avenue of relief.
However, when parents make the decision to separate and divorce, child custody can become a legal matter like no other. Parents at odds may be highly selective in recognizing the other parent’s rights. Spouses who are highly emotional through a family separation and divorce may try to position the custody of their children to spite their spouse.
Under the most positive circumstances, families may work out shared custody and visitation themselves with little involvement of the court. For instances where a parent contests custody, this is when an attorney may petition the court for relief.
Child Custody Rights Under Virginia Law
The Code of Virginia defines the law regarding court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements. It clearly states that the court seeks to have parents share in the responsibilities of rearing their children. However, the court might serve the child’s best interest by awarding custody or visitation to others ‘with a legitimate interest.’
The law further defines some of the many other aspects of child custody and visitation. These definitions cover a variety of possibilities. Therefore, having the counsel of an attorney would be a wise decision any time custody is under question.
Questions About Child Custody Include Fitness
There can be many challenges and questions relating to child custody that are specific to individual situations. While some concerns about parental fitness may focus on employment or financial means, courts recognize these are factors that can change. When parents have greater concerns about the fitness of the other parent, there may be other difficulties that require documentation.
For more abusive or violent domestic relations matters, it may be beneficial to keep written records in the form of a calendar or journal. If the parent were due to pick up their child and failed to appear, that could be important to show. Having records for the court of times requiring police intervention could also help.
Judges Decide Custody Based on the Best Interests of the Child
It may sometimes be true that a parent may not keep the child’s best interests in mind. It is more likely that one parent may not feel able to provide for the child. Yet, both parents have legal rights when it comes to custody of their children. The judge’s decisions may include:
Joint Legal Custody
Joint Physical Custody
Part D of the Virginia Code relating to custody matters reads as follows:
- In any case in which custody or visitation of minor children is at issue, whether in a circuit or district court, the court may order an independent mental health or psychological evaluation to assist the court in its determination of the best interests of the child. The court may enter such order as it deems appropriate for the payment of the costs of the evaluation by the parties.
We see there can be various factors the court takes into consideration. Having the counsel of an attorney is a wise decision to help uphold your rights.
Parents in Crisis May Require Outside Intervention
When parental emotions run high, children can feel caught in the middle. Children can feel torn even more when they think about extended family, like grandparents. This family dynamic might make for great drama in movies and on television. In real life, though, the parents themselves may be experiencing a crisis that requires intervention.
Movies often gloss over the fate of children whose parents consume substances, are incarcerated, or die in accidents. For many families in Virginia, these realities bring grandparents and other family members to petition the court for custody. When dealing with these types of difficult situations, it helps to work with an attorney who can help uphold your rights.
Modification Agreements Because Things Change
For those families who do manage to work out custody and visitation issues, there may be another reason to seek legal services. Changes can occur that make it necessary to seek modification. Modification agreements then become a means of documenting significant changes in custody and visitation for the minor child(ren).
Sections E and F of the law outline some of the requirements for additional orders in child custody cases. These cover subjects such as the punishment of a party to comply with provisions of a custody order, felony convictions, appointing a guardian, and school enrollment. For these many types of changes, parents and guardians benefit from consulting an attorney.
Protection of Children at the Heart of Custody
Harrison & Turk P.C. is here for Radford-area residents who have custody concerns. Beneath it all, the protection of children is at the heart of custody matters. Addressing the specific needs of each child can be a process. You do not have to do it alone.
Seek the counsel of an attorney skilled in family law matters, like those at Harris & Turk. We work with you to help smooth difficulties that family members may experience in seeking to protect minor children. Contact our office today for a free consultation on custody or visitation matters.
Obtain reliable legal help from Harrison & Turk P.C. in Radford, VA. Just give us a call today at (540) 266-7420, or contact us online or like us on Facebook. Our attorneys are ready to meet with you for a consultation about child custody matters in Virginia.