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Promoting Your Child’s Welfare During Custody Disputes

As a parent, your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life. If a divorce is in your future, protecting that relationship will be of paramount concern.

The attorneys at Kelly Byrnes Danker & Luu, PLLC, provide experienced counsel and advocacy to help you obtain a workable child custody agreement. With more than six decades of collective family law experience, our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of Virginia’s statutes, court procedures and case law. We use this insight to create negotiation strategies that help you preserve your parenting rights and protect the best interests of your children.

Defending Your Children’s Best Interests In And Out Of Court

Our legal team has a record of success in representing diverse families throughout Northern Virginia. We advocate for same-sex and opposite-sex parents, unwed parents, civilians and military parents, grandparents and other third parties who have a legitimate interest in a custody matter. This vast experience shapes our counsel in these matters:

  • Sole custody negotiations and disputes
  • Joint custody negotiations and disputes
  • Visitation rights for noncustodial parents, stepparents, grandparents and other third parties who have a legitimate interest in a child’s custody

All of our lawyers are adept negotiators and seasoned litigators. We recognize that not all custody conflicts cannot be resolved around the negotiating table and are equipped to present persuasive arguments in court.

Attending To Custody Matters After Your Divorce Has Been Finalized

We strive to obtain custody terms that will ease your children’s transition to their new life. When your family has experienced a significant change in circumstances, we file petitions for emergency and long-term modifications.

Should your former spouse fail to follow the terms of the child custody agreement, our lawyers can assist you with enforcement actions.

Whether you need help developing a parenting plan, defending your parenting rights in court or petitioning for a change in custody terms, we have the skills that you need to protect what matters most: your relationship with your children.

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody In Virginia

Child custody matters are undoubtedly sensitive and complex. Here are some of the questions we hear the most:

Do both parents have equal custody rights?

Both parents have equal custody rights over their children because Virginia law doesn’t give preference to either mothers or fathers. When the court decides custody, parents may be awarded:

  • Joint or sole physical custody to establish where the child lives
  • Shared or sole legal custody to establish who makes decisions about the child
  • Parenting time for the parent who does not have physical custody

When one parent gets physical custody of the child, the other parent may be awarded parenting time to ensure the child has regular contact with both parents. A history of abuse or abandonment will, naturally, affect the court’s custody decisions.

Can dating affect child custody?

Normally, the court doesn’t prohibit divorced parents from introducing a new partner to their children. However, in certain scenarios, the court may ban overnight romantic guests while the children are present.

Moreover, if your ex-partner decides to take you to court for cohabiting with a new partner, this may affect your custody rights. This is especially true in situations where your new relationship is violent or abusive or your new partner has habits that could be harmful to your child. The court may perceive any destabilizing behaviors as potentially against the child’s best interests, and that can always affect custody decisions.

Can you appeal a child custody decision?

If you are dissatisfied with the court’s final custody arrangement, you can appeal the custody ruling to a higher court. For instance, if the final custody ruling was made at a Juvenile and Domestic Relations (JDR) court, you’ll need to appeal to the local Circuit Court. Remember, you must file your appeal within 10 days of the final custody ruling – and legal representation is essential.

We Are Committed To Your Case. Contact A Compassionate Legal Ally Today.

Consult with us to learn about your legal options. For your convenience, you may schedule a meeting at our Leesburg or Fairfax office by completing our online contact form or calling 703-239-4921.