Many people believe the often-repeated myth that family courts will favor mothers over fathers in custody cases. The truth is that Virginia state law actually forbids this practice. This means that the courts must determine child custody based on other factors.
Here, we’ll explore what factors the courts consider when determining custody of children in Virginia and how Virginia Beach child custody attorney Mike Deering, Esq. could help protect your rights and interests when it comes to spending time with your children.
Does The Mother Get Child Custody More Often in VA?
The notion that the mother of the children gets custody more often than the father is a myth, but the reason why many people believe that this is the case is that it used to be true. It used to be customary for judges to award mothers custody of the children, especially if they were young.
At that time, mothers typically played more traditional roles in the household. But now that it is normal to see both men and women take on full-time work and share domestic responsibilities, the courts tend to have a more balanced point of view when it comes to determining child custody. Judges today do not commonly favor the mother in custody cases, instead of focusing on what is in the best interests of the child.
What Factors Does The Court Consider?
There are two types of custody that a judge will need to decide on during custody proceedings – legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to have a say in significant decisions about a child, including decisions about medical care and education. Physical custody refers to who the child will primarily reside with and which parent will provide day-to-day care.
The judge will always keep the best interests of your child top of mind when making a decision. To make their decision, the judge will typically consider the following factors:
- The age, physical health, and mental health of the child
- The age, physical health, and mental health of the two parents
- The current relationship between the two parents and whether or not they are willing to work together as part of the custody arrangement
- The relationship of each parent with the child, giving due consideration to what influence that parent would have on the child
- The specific needs of the child
- The parenting abilities of each parent
- The role that each parent has played in their child’s life so far and the role they will play in the future in raising the child
- Any sexual or domestic abuse that occurred in the family home while the parents were together
In some cases, the preference of the child will be considered, depending upon their age. While the judge will take this into consideration on a case-by-case basis, the judge’s final decision will always put the best interests of the child first, which could go against the child’s stated preference.
Contact a Virginia Beach Child Custody Lawyer Today
Virginia Beach family attorney Mike Deering has more than a decade of experience helping people navigate the tricky waters of divorce, child custody, and other family matters. For assistance with your child custody case, contact us at (757)383-6848 or reach out to us online to discuss your situation during a confidential consultation.