Custody & Visitation

Every parent loves the children. Tragically, children often get caught up in divorce proceedings. At Calinger Law, we know you love your children and desire only what is best for them. We’ll help you to preserve your place in their lives while moving forward with the divorce process.

Where each parent has involvement in a child’s life, the first step is often to determine which parent will receive primary physical custody. Virginia Code 20-124.2 requires courts to normally ensure a child has frequent contact with both parents, but the reality is that the child will physically spend most of his or her life with one parent. Naturally, this parent will likely have primary responsibility for caring for the child’s daily needs.

In looking at who will receive primary physical custody, courts will often look at a variety of factors as directed by Virginia Code 20-124.3.  The court will review the role each parent has played in the child’s life. The court will have concern for things like the emotional attachment of children to the parent, evidence of past parental involvement, the ability of the parent to spend time with the child, and the ability of the parent to provide for the physical needs of the child. At Calinger Law, we will examine all of these factors with you in advance in order to present your case to the court in the best possible light.

In most cases, both parents will receive joint legal custody. Legal custody means that each parent is legally a parent and has full legal responsibility as a parent. It gives a parent the right to control things such as the religious faith of the child, the child’s education, and decisions concerning the medical health of the child.

If you do not receive primary custody of the child, then Calinger Law will focus on securing your rights to as much visitation as possible. In order to continue your role as a parent, you need to have access to your children. You need to see them on a regular basis. At Calinger Law, we will work to ensure you receive regular, consistent visitation with your children, including extended visitation over the summer.

You may also have concerns over child support. Please read our section about child support for a more detailed discussion of this important issue.