Virginia parents and others typically operate under the terms of a child custody agreement after a divorce. Depending on the circumstances of a case, both parents may be given custody of the child, but it is also possible that only one parent is granted custody. Regardless of what the initial order states, it may be possible to have it modified at a later date. Of course, this assumes that it is in the child's best interest to do so.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, grandparents have the right to obtain custody of their grandchildren in certain situations. That's because Virginia allows any person with a legitimate interest in the well being of a child to petition. Getting custody requires a court order, and not all grandparents who petition will have their wishes granted. Grandparents can also petition for child visitation in cases where they are being denied visits by a child's guardian.
Whenever Virginia parents contemplate splitting up, their first concern is typically the details of the child custody and co-parenting arrangement. The type of agreement best suited for a family is largely dependent upon the nature of the parents' dealings with each other. If the parties are able to set aside hostilities and truly focus on the best interests of the children without bringing personal acrimony into parenting decisions, a collaborative agreement is recommended. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people are simply unable to operate with the level of cooperation needed for a collaborative parenting plan to effectively function.
More American couples are turning to in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant. Research suggests around 5 percent of American couples will try IVF to have a baby this year. However, some of these couples will have to face a tough decision about what to do with their frozen embryos if their marriage ends in divorce.
Some Virginia fathers may face obstacles in getting custody or visitation rights to their children. If they fall far enough behind in child support, for example, they could go to jail. They could also lose visitation rights if the other parent files for and receives a protective order which includes the child. The father's ability to see his child could be impacted for the duration of the protective order. Courts are not supposed to favor mothers over fathers, but mothers make up more than 80 percent of custodial parents.
The best interest of the child is always the overriding standard that Virginia law judges apply when dealing with children of divorcing parents. In most cases, child custody orders are issued as part of the court's final orders upon the dissolution of the marriage. In some cases, however, such as where there is a prolonged legal separation prior to the divorce's finalization, temporary child custody orders may be issued.
Divorced parents in Virginia can work together for the long-term well-being of their children. Part of this is helping them successfully meet challenges they face, such as starting a new school year. Divorced parents can do this by working as a team when determining things such as what they want their child to get out of the school year.
Many divorces in Virginia can be extra complicated when children are involved. After all the custody details have been negotiated, ex-spouses can make the transition less stressful for children by creating a co-parenting agreement. A common piece of advice given to divorced parents is to put the needs of the child first by acting civil toward one another and acknowledging the importance of the other parent in the child's life. The only exception would be if there are issues involved that could put a minor at risk.
When Virginia parents get a divorce, they may still have many years of coparenting ahead of them. Keeping a relationship with both parents is important for children unless there are serious issues such as abuse, and parents should work to cultivate a positive coparenting relationship despite their problems with one another.
Noncustodial parents in Virginia can face negative consequences when they fail to pay child support on time. For instance, they could experience financial problems, strained relationships with family members and the possibility of going to jail. In many cases, those who owe child support are already struggling financially. According to a report from the Urban Institute, 70 percent of parents who have outstanding support balances either report no income or make less than $10,000 a year.