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In today's society, child custody and visitation factors take place in cases other than divorces. Custody and visitation rights need to be set for couples seeking divorce, grandparents, step-parents, former lovers, and parties of extramarital affairs and one-night stands. In each of these circumstances, the Courts are considerate to the legal rights of the parties and the rights and best interest of the children concerned.

In all child custody instances, the parties should know their legal rights and the method by which a family and domestic relations court will figure out child custody and visitation. Custody and visitation laws and application of them are fluid, i.e., always shifting and being revised. If you're not up to date on the present laws governing child custody, you might find yourself confused and annoyed. A Virginia Beach attorney for child custody and visitation could be a valuable resource in your case.


In Virginia, courts always make custody and visitation decisions determined by the best interest of the children. A great number of times, the parties will find these interests may not comport with their own. Conclusions of the court may impose schedules and requirements on the parties they did not expect, such as visitation, travel, school activities and extracurricular functions. One more typical matter is child support and other financial responsibilities. The court may order child support to be paid, or lowered in some instances, and may require one party to pay for education and other social events, such as sports or boy/girl scouts. Yet again, these demands may be unforeseen and have a negative influence on the lives of the parties.

In addition, one of the parties may have unfavorable personal feelings against the other party. As an example, one of the parents might not like the grandparents of the child. In cases of extramarital affairs or one-night stands, there might not be any bond between the parents of the child. In these cases, the court will often look beyond the relationships among the parties and focus primarily on the interests of the children. You might find that you're going to be expected to maintain a civil relationship with a person you otherwise would not to ensure that your kids may have a bond with the other party.

To better help the court in determining what's in the best interest of the children, the court might appoint a Guardian ad litem (GAL) for the kids. A GAL is normally an attorney who is skilled in family law. Since most courts usually do not favor testimony from involved children, and in many scenarios they are too young to do so, this lawyer is appointed to represent their views. A GAL will see the kids in a more relaxed atmosphere, such as their home, school, or in the attorney's place of work, and try to gather from the kids what their feelings are about the custody and visitation. Sometimes a child may not wish to associate with the other party. A GAL might be able to assess if this is resulting from some real situation, such as abuse, or is it as a result of alienation through the other party.

In determining what's in the best interest of the children, courts use a number of factors that have been determined relevant by the state legislature. In addition, a judge may take into account other issues not specifically mentioned by statutes. Every child custody and visitation scenario is distinct in its particulars. Not every factor may apply in a specific scenario, and not every factor may be favorable for you and your case. So as to possess a better understanding of the issues and how the law will be applied to your scenario, you should always consult with a child custody lawyer in Virginia Beach.

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