While issues of child support are frequently resolved under state guidelines, custody and visitation issues can present major problems for parents who are separating from each other, especially when there is a history of substance abuse, mental illness or domestic violence. Even in less troubled situations, the complex emotional dynamic of parent-child relationships and conflicts between parents can make the resolution of custody and visitation issues more difficult.
At MacDowell Law Group, P.C., our attorneys work closely with parents to help them understand their legal rights and responsibilities, define realistic objectives and develop productive strategies for achieving their goals. In our experience, people make the best decisions for themselves and their children when their judgment is not clouded by anxiety, resentment or confusion.
Working for the Best Interests of the Child
Virginia law makes it clear that the preferred outcome in custody matters is to protect and support each child’s relationship with both parents consistent with the best interests of the children. While child support orders protect a child’s interest in material security, custody, visitation orders are meant to advance the family’s interest in stable and substantial parent-child relationships.
The courts typically expect the divorcing parents to work together to define the arrangement that will work best for their children. The best results are usually achieved through a negotiated visitation schedule and custody agreement. If the circumstances of a parent’s life change, such as in cases of parental relocation, we can help seek modifications to a custody agreement.
Experienced Representation in Difficult Cases
As experienced family lawyers, we understand that a parent may have legitimate concerns about the safety of a child with the other parent, such as in cases involving domestic violence in divorce. In a high-conflict custody dispute, we can present your case for supervised visitation, or even sole legal or physical custody, with the support of solid evidence. We can also assist parents with the development of the skills they will need to maintain positive relations with their children in their new family environment.