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Child custody in Virginia: What you should know

Anyone who is just embarking on the journey to seek child custody likely has some questions about the process. In Virginia, there are some fairly simple aspects to child custody, but there are also some caveats that might mean that things can get a little tricky.

There are three types of child custody that are recognized in Virginia. Joint physical custody, joint legal custody and sole custody. Each of these has specific points that must be considered. It is possible for a judge to order that parents have joint legal custody and joint physical custody of the same child. Sole custody isn't able to be combined with the joint custody options.

Joint physical custody means that the parents share the child in a manner that gives each parent equal or almost equal amounts of time with the child. Joint physical custody means that the parents both have the right to make decisions for the child, such as where the child will go to school or what medical care the child will receive.

Sole custody means that one parent is fully responsible for the welfare of the child. The child lives with the parent who has sole custody and that parent makes all choices relating to the child's life. In this case, the parent who doesn't have custody might be awarded visitation so they can see the child on a regular basis.

Virginia is one of the states that is allowed to take the child's wishes into consideration when it comes to child custody matters. The child's wishes can play a big part in the outcome of the case. Any parent who is going through a child custody battle should learn about how the child's wishes and other factors might affect the case.

Source: FindLaw, "Virginia Child Custody Laws" Oct. 05, 2014

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