Child Custody, Visitation, and Support

There is no presumption in Virginia as to which parent is deserving of primary custody.  A court will consider a number of factors in determining which parent will serve the best interests of the child in deciding how to award legal and physical custody.  The noncustodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation under the law, unless it is demonstrated that such exposure would jeopardize the well-being of the child.  The Virginia legislature has set forth several statutory criteria for a court to consider when making these determinations.

Generally, a court will consider the child’s standard of living during the marriage, and each parent’s ability to pay in fashioning a child support order.  Even prior to finalizing a divorce, the primary custodian of the child is entitled to support once a demand has been filed.