Fredericksburg Child Custody & Child Support Lawyer
See What Our Firm Can Do for You & Your Family
Determining which parent should receive physical custody of the children is one of the most hard-fought and emotional aspects of any court proceeding. Disputes over child support payments can only make the situation more difficult and tense. Our Fredericksburg child custody attorney understands this and provides compassionate and supportive guidance to clients throughout the divorce process.
Attorney A. Lewis Lowery, Jr. is committed to delivering personalized and responsive service. Whether you need an in-person office visit or have questions or concerns that you want addressed on nights and weekends, we are available to assist you.
Who Gets Custody of the Kids?
Whether clients are attempting to negotiate child custody rights through a property settlement agreement or allowing the court to make the determination, it is important to understand the various types of custody.
- Sole legal custody refers to the right of one parent to exclusively make all decisions about the general welfare of the child.
- Joint legal custody refers to the right of both parents to make decisions regarding the general welfare of the child.
- Sole physical custody refers to the exclusive right of a parent to have the child live with him or her.
- Joint physical custody is when the child splits his time between both parents’ homes on a more permanent basis than mere visitation.
The best approach is for the parties to attempt to work out a property settlement agreement that addresses the issue of child custody. Hiring an attorney with experience in these kinds of negotiations can go a long way toward ensuring that the child’s best interests are met and both parents are satisfied with the arrangements.
If the parties cannot agree on a child custody and a visitation plan, the court will make the determination on its own. This is not an ideal situation since a judge – an uninvolved third party – has the power to make important decisions. As with most family law matters involving children, the judge is guided by what is in their best interest.
Securing the Support that You & Your Child Need
Under Virginia law, the party receiving visitation rights is usually expected to financially support the minor child. Child support is calculated according to guidelines established in the code, but the court may deviate from these guidelines at its discretion.
For a court to deviate from the statutory child support guidelines, it must find that the amount would be unfair and would not be in the best interests of the child.
In determining what is in the best interests of the child, the court considers:
- Any special and unusual needs of the children
- Whether either parent has obligations toward minor or handicapped children
- Any other payments that the court orders, like spousal support
- Each parent’s income and earning potential
- Any benefits that a party enjoys as a result of living with another person, like a second husband or wife
We Have the Experience to Help You
Retaining an experienced Fredericksburg child support and custody attorney who is knowledgeable about the factors a judge must consider is critical when the parties cannot agree. Our firm has the litigation and mediation experience necessary to protect and advocate for clients’ parental interests and ensure that the appropriate amount of child support is granted to the custodial parent.
Contact a Fredericksburg VA custody attorney online or call us at (540) 999-1886 today.