Tag Archives: Virginia Attorneys

Child Custody Virginia Lawyer Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun


Get Child Custody Help When It Matters The Most

One of the first questions in a divorce in Virginia is who will get custody of the child or children?

Child custody in Virginia is a legal term used to qualify the relationship the child or children has between the parents. A determination of child custody in Virginia will resolve issues such as which parent will the child or children spend the majority of time with or will the parents equally share their time with the child or children. Also, a determination of child custody in Virginia may have an impact on child support payments and a determination of who are the payer and the payee.

If you are in need the help of a lawyer in Virginia for a child custody case, turn to the Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. for help. We have client meeting locations in Virginia to better serve you.

Virginia: Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Loudoun, Lynchburg, Manassas, Richmond & Virginia Beach.

If you wish to speak with one of our lawyers in Virginia regarding a child custody case in Virginia, please feel free to call us 888-437-7747

Virginia Child Custody Laws

Virginia Child Custody Laws

The following is a general overview of some of the issues that a parent may face in regards to child custody in Virginia.

The child custody courts in Virginia will frequently use the term “best interests of the child” in making a determination as to child custody in Virginia. Although the courts in Virginia will generally consider all the factors in a child custody determination, some factors will be given more weight than others.

Our Virginia lawyers have found that most parents are able to decide by themselves what the child custody and visitation arrangements are going to be for the child or children without a judge deciding the issue of child custody. However, some parents in Virginia are not reasonable and unable to cooperate and come to an agreement as to the custody of the child or children. When parents engage in child custody litigation, the relationship between the parents can become very hostile. The mentality some parents take is that of a win at all costs. Some of the allegations that are made in court filings are that of sexual, physical, emotional abuse, alienation of affection by the other parent, etc. The Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. will always counsel their clients to take the “high road” in a custody battle. The reason we counsel our clients to take the high road approach in a child custody battle is for two reasons:

  1. the truth ultimately comes out and judges who have been hearing child custody cases in Virginia are not pleased when parents make false allegations;
  2. although it is very important that you do not allow false allegations to go unchallenged, child custody battles can be very expensive. If both parties engage in making speculative allegations in a child custody case, this will only drive up the cost of litigation.

When child custody disputes arise in Virginia, it is not uncommon for one of the parents to attempt to engage in forum shopping in an endeavor to gain an unfair edge against the other party. Forum shopping is basically looking for a state or country that may have more favorable laws towards one of the parents in regards to child custody. Many countries have become a part of the Hague Convention to prevent forum shopping between countries. Additionally, in the United States, an act called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was enacted and adopted by every state to prevent forum shopping in child custody cases. The essence of this act is to require all the states to defer to the jurisdiction of the home state of the child or children. The Virginia attorneys of SRIS, P.C. have represented clients who have to deal with the other parent attempting to engage in forum shopping. It is very important to hire the services of a lawyer when faced with an issue of forum shopping. The statutory designation of “home state” lasts only for a certain period of time.

The attorneys of SRIS, P.C. do truly care about you and your children and we look forward to helping you.

Please feel free to call us at 888-437-7747.

Our attorneys and staff speak the following languages in addition to English: Tamil, Arabic, Hindi, Telugu, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Malaysian & French.
Frequently, the clients we represent in Virginia are inundated with variety of different terms regarding child custody and support. In an endeavor to better assist them understand the different terms used, the following are some of the official definitions from the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

FAQ’s for Child Custody Law Issues:

But what exactly determines this “best interests of the child” criteria?

Do Mother’s Have More “Clout” When It Comes To Retaining Child Custody?

What is Joint Custody?

It’s one of the sadder parts of any divorce – determining child custody and visitation. In deciding which parent (or both) gets custody, the court takes into account a multitude of factors.

In almost all courts in every state, the standard is: “The child’s best interests.” In deciding child custody issues – this one aspect is given the highest priority.

But what exactly determines this “best interests of the child” criteria?

Here’s a checklist of the most commonly used factors:

  • The child’s age, sex, and mental and physical health
  • The parent’s mental and physical health
  • The parent’s lifestyle and other social factors, including whether the child is exposed to second-hand smoke and whether there is any history of child abuse
  • The emotional bond between parent and child, as well as the parent’s ability to give the child guidance
  • The parent’s ability to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and medical care
  • The child’s established living pattern (school, home, community, religious institution)
  • The quality of the child’s education
  • The impact of changing the status quo in the child’s daily routine, and
  • The child’s preference, if the child is above a certain age (usually about 12).

In many cases, there are no clear cut answers in determining which parent clearly “outranks” another in fulfilling these custodial factors. Each may be equally (or nearly) qualified in providing for the child’s welfare and well being.

In divorce and child custody law cases like these, the courts focus on which parent will provide the child with the more stable environment, including maintaining a healthy relationship with the other parent. When a child is young, special attention is given to the parent who has been the child’s primary caregiver. However, with older children, the parent who is best able to provide continuity in education, neighborhood life, religious institutions, and peer relationships may be awarded primary custody.

Also, the judge in child custody cases in Virginia will place great weight upon the fact if the children will be remaining in the home where they were raised and lived as a family, if they will be continuing in the same school, participate in their usual activities and generally enjoy their regular routines. A judge will be adverse to changing these normal physical locations, conditions and schedules.

Another factor that comes into play with child custody cases is when one parent moves out of the house, leaving the child or children with the remaining spouse. This can adversely affect the chances of the distant parent gaining custody – even if they left in order to avoid highly unpleasant or even dangerous situations.

If the situation is so volatile, then seriously consider taking the children with you. If you don’t, the court may properly assume you considered the options and believed the remaining spouse was a competent caregiver – regardless of the situation between the two parents. If you do leave with the children, file as quickly as possible in family court for temporary child custody and child support. Speed is of the essence, because if you don’t act first, the other spouse may go to court first and allege that the kids were taken without that spouse’s knowledge.

Family law judges don’t look very highly on a parent who removes the children from the home without seeking legal recognition. A judge may order the children be returned to the family home, pending future proceedings to determine physical custody.


Do Mother’s Have More “Clout” When It Comes To Retaining Child Custody?

In the past, it was customary for the courts to award custody of young children (about 5 years old or younger) to the mother when couples divorced. This “tender years” doctrine has been almost entirely replaced – either rejected outright or relegated to the role of tie-breaker if two otherwise fit parents request custody of their pre-school children

Every state now takes into consideration the fitness of both parents – the mother no longer automatically enjoys a de-facto privilege when custody is being determined. Most states require their courts determine custody on the basis of what’s in the children’s best interests, without regard to the parent’s gender.

Many divorcing parents do agree the mother will have custody after a separation or divorce, with the father exercising reasonable visitation rights. If this happens because both parents agree the mother has more time, a greater inclination in parenting, or a better understanding of the children’s daily needs – then all is well and good. But many times the father presumes the mother will automatically be awarded custody and never pursues the matter – or because the mother is more tenacious in seeking custody.

As a father, if you want to ask the court for physical custody, don’t let gender stereotypes stop you. If both you and the mother work full-time, and the kids have after-school care, you may both be on equal footing. In fact, if you have more flexible hours than the mother, you could be at an advantage. In any event, the judge will look at what’s best for the children in custody cases.

So if you as father think you are the better caregiver and should have primary custody – it’s up to you to convince the judge that it’s in the kids’ best interests to stay with you. If you present yourself as a willing and able parent, it will go a long way towards challenging any lingering prejudice against you as a father.


What is Joint Custody?

“Joint custody” pursuant to child custody law is when the court awards partial custody to both parents. Child custody law recognizes one of three forms when addressing joint custody:

  • joint physical custody (children spend a substantial amount of time with each parent)
  • joint legal custody (parents share decision-making on medical, educational, and religious questions involving the children), or
  • both joint legal and joint physical custody.


Article written by A Sris
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These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.


Spousal Support Alimony Virginia Lawyer Divorce Fairfax Richmond Beach Loudoun

Spousal Support & Alimony Laws In Virginia

Spousal maintenance – Alimony

Even in uncontested divorces in Virginia, spousal support/alimony may be awarded in a divorce or legal separation proceedings and may be subject to later modification or enforcement proceedings as well. Alimony is vital part of being able to move on after a divorce. Alimony is generally paid in installments over a period of time, (weekly or monthly, for example). Spousal support is another term for alimony in Virginia

Regardless of the term used in Virginia, alimony is paid for a defined duration of time or until the death of one of the spouses or the remarriage of the recipient. What most people in Virginia don’t realize is that alimony is taxable. The person paying the alimony in Virginia deducts it as an above the line tax deduction. The person who receives alimony has to pay taxes on the amount of alimony received.

Virginia Spousal Support Laws

Child support on the other hand is not taxable. Alimony is completely independent from child support and Virginia uses set guidelines to determine alimony. The Family Law Courts in Virginia have enormous discretion when determining the appropriate alimony award and the duration of the alimony award. Due to this uncertainty, most Virginia attorneys work hard towards trying to settle the issue of alimony in divorce cases without risking a trial on the issue of alimony. Our lawyers in Virginia who assist clients with divorce cases in Virginia will work to help you get spousal support and when necessary, defend an action for alimony.

Our Virginia lawyers who assist clients with spousal support and alimony issues have client meeting locations in Virginia:

Virginia: Northern Virginia – Fairfax, Loudoun & Manassas; Central Virginia – Fredericksburg & Richmond; Hampton Roads/Tidewater Area – Virginia Beach; in Western Virginia – Lynchburg.

Some of the courts we cover in Virginia:

Fairfax Circuit Court Richmond Circuit Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
400 North Ninth Street
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Fairfax General District Court Richmond General District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
920 Hull Street, Northside
Richmond, VA 23224-4070
Fairfax Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030-4020
Oliver Hill Courts Building
1600 Oliver Hill WaySuite C181
Richmond, VA 23219-1214
Prince William Circuit Court Loudoun Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110
P. O. Box 55018 E. Market St., 3rd floor
Leesburg, VA 20178
Prince William General District Court Loudoun General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5586
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Prince William Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Loudoun Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5555
18 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Building 10, 4th Floor
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Virginia Beach General District Court
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations District
2425 Nimmo Parkway, Building 10
Judicial Complex 10 A Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Our Virginia lawyers who assist clients with spousal support and alimony have an extensive amount of experience in resolving issues regarding spousal support and alimony in Virginia. Our Virginia attorneys who represent clients with spousal support and alimony cases are careful to consider all of your family law concerns and provide thoughtful, prudent guidance through all of your family law & divorce law issues.

If you wish to consult a SRIS, P.C. attorney in Virginia regarding alimony or spousal support, call us at 888-437-7747.

We also cover the following courts in Virginia:

Herndon General District Court
765 Lynn Street,
Herndon, VA 20170
Vienna General District Court
127 South Center Street,
Vienna, VA 22180
Falls Church General District Court
300 Park Avenue, Room 107E
Falls Church, VA 22046-3350

Article written by A Sris
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These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.