In Virginia and throughout the country, parents may be awarded either physical custody or legal custody to their children. In some cases, they will receive both types of custody. Legal custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions related to a son or daughter's health and general welfare. These decisions may involve the type of medical care a child receives or what religious practices he or she will be exposed to.
For much of the 20th century, courts in Virginia and other states almost universally sided with mothers when making custody decisions. But during the past 30 years or so, shared parenting, or joint custody has gained more acceptance. Child custody itself can be broken down as legal custody and physical custody of the child or children involved.
After divorce, a Virginia couple may need to create a parenting plan for custody and visitation. Parents should think about this schedule from the child's point of view. This means considering the child's schedule as well as where they both live and the location of the child's school. The aim should not be the parents' convenience but to make things easy for the child.
Virginia fathers who are going through the divorce process are often concerned about how the separation will impact their children. Many dads in this situation are faced with the dilemma of giving up sole custody to the mother. Part of the reason why this question often arises is because experts have in times past warned against children, especially young children, spending time at night away from their mothers.
Virginia parents who are considering the practice of birdnesting after divorce might not want to practice the arrangement for more than a few months. Birdnesting involves children remaining in the shared home while the parents alternate staying with them there. Parents usually maintain a small place nearby that they take turns living in when they are not in the home. While this can help children adjust to a divorce, experts say that in general, it should not last more than three to six months.
Each school year brings its own set of challenges to Virginia children and their parents. However, kids with divorced parents sometimes face extra stresses. In order to ensure the new school year goes as smoothly as possible, parents may want to create a plan for their child's success.