When Virginia parents whose marriages are coming to an end are served with family court documents relating to child custody issues, they often feel a combination of anger and shock. Some people react in a way that can seriously hurt their positions in their cases.
Same-sex couples in Virginia who have children may be interested in the outcome of a case in which a woman is fighting for custody of the daughter born to her former partner while the two were together. The woman is not biologically related to the child, but she cut the child's umbilical cord, carried the child on her health insurance and lived with the child for four years.
Virginia parents should be aware of court protections for children who are exposed to domestic abuse. Children who witness domestic abuse are more likely to develop emotional problems such as anger, anxiety and poor self-esteem. They also have difficulty in school and are more likely to drop out, abuse drugs and alcohol, experience teenage pregnancy and become involved in teen dating violence. Children who see signs of verbal or physical abuse between their parents are also more likely to become abusers when they are older.
As many unmarried parents in Virginia already know, child custody is not only an issue for people who get divorces. Bristol Palin, daughter of 2008 republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has never been married, but she can expect a family court to rule on the arrangement of custody for her second child.
Virginia residents who enjoy the music of Madonna or the films of director Guy Ritchie may be interested to learn that the couple's 15-year-old son has requested permission to remain with his father rather than returning to his mother after the Christmas holidays. However, the teen apparently initiated litigation in the wrong jurisdiction.
Negotiating child custody and visitation arrangements can be a contentious process for couples in Virginia. When they are unable to reach an amicable agreement, judges will award custody based upon what they feel will best serve the child's interests. When no custody order is in place, custody will depend largely on whether or not the parents are married.
Allegations of marijuana use in Virginia child custody and visitation disputes can have a major impact on a person's parental rights. When such allegations are made, judges sometimes order the parent to have a urine screen or hair follicle test completed.
Some Virginia parents may be familiar with a phenomenon called parental alienation that was coined by a psychiatrist in the 1980s. It refers to what happens when one parent turns a child against the other parent, often as a result of a bitter divorce, and now there is a controversial treatment called reunification therapy that is sometimes mandated by a judge in child custody cases.
Divorced parents who share custody of their young children need to be willing to put serious effort into making things work. Those in the midst of negotiating new custody agreements as well as those with existing ones are advised to consider whether their parenting plans were actually true to the realities of their situations. Instead of demanding full custody after a tough breakup or trying to overfill their schedules, ex-spouses need to think about what's best for the child.
Virginia residents may have heard that long-time couple and reality TV stars Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick have announced their split. The two have three young children together.