Matters of divorce and other family law issues can inflict chaos into the lives of children. Because of this, Virginia courts work hard to ensure that their rulings protect children's best interests. This is especially true when courts must make important decisions about where children will live, who will care for them, and if they will be under the custody of both or only one of their parents.
A child's best interests can be determined from evaluating many different factors, and readers should remember that child custody and parenting plans that serve some kids' needs may be detrimental to others. To this end, courts may look at children as individuals to assess what they will require to thrive in their new family situations.
Some of the factors that may influence courts' decisions regarding child custody matters include, but are not limited to: the parents' capacities to care for their children; children's needs regarding their health and development; the manner in which children will maintain their relationships with extended family members; the preferences of the child; and the child's age.
When facing child custody issues and preparing for hearings that may determine parental rights and responsibilities, it is important that families seek legal help. How courts address individual needs can greatly impact whether parents will retain their legal and physical custodial rights. Although this post does not contain any legal advice, readers are encouraged to be aware of their own legal needs and to work with legal representatives who they can rely on for sound guidance.