As the winter holidays approach Virginia parents may have lingering concerns about how they and their co-parents will work together to create positive and loving celebrations for their shared kids. The holidays can bring out both the best and the worst in people and when divorced parents cannot see eye to eye, it can be their children who suffer. Prioritizing kids during the holidays can be a good way to keep life civil for everyone coping with a divorce or post-divorce situation.
Parents who divorce or separate in Virginia and who must come up with workable solutions to their co-parenting needs may find themselves negotiating child custody plans between themselves. Child custody refers to the arrangements that parents or courts make to establish how a child will be cared for, where the child will live, and who may make decisions about the child's upbringing. Both legal and physical custody are important matters that must be worked out in custody and parenting plans.
In a matter of weeks, children all throughout Virginia will don costumes and take to the streets to trick-or-treat with their friends and family members. Halloween is a fun evening for kids but also the start of what many people consider the end-of-year holiday season. Once Halloween is over it is only a few weeks until Thanksgiving, which is then closely followed by Hanukkah and Christmas, and shortly thereafter followed by New Year's Day.
As Labor Day approaches, many kids in Virginia have returned to school or are preparing to do so. Getting back into the routine of school can be hard for kids as they let go of their freedom and replace it with the structure of daily classes, assignments, and extracurricular activities. However, children who are subject to child custody and parenting plans can find the start of the school year particularly tough when their parents have not worked out the details of their new schedules.
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.
Visitation is the legal right that non-custodial parents may be given if courts determine that they should have contact with their children but should not have physical custodial rights over them. In Virginia, there are several different types of visitation that parents may be granted or my fight for; while many parents receive reasonable unsupervised visitation with their kids, others may receive scheduled supervised time with their children.
By now children all across the Commonwealth of Virginia have been released from their classes and are enjoying the freedom that comes with the summer break. While some will go back to their same schools when fall rolls around and classes resume, others will move up to schools for higher grades or will relocate and therefore change institutions where they study. Changes in schools can mean big changes in scheduling for families, and new schedules can sometimes require new custodial plans.
Readers of this Virginia legal blog may know others or may themselves have the kinds of jobs that they can do from anywhere. Whereas in the past a person had to go to the offices of their employer in order to complete their job tasks, today the interconnectedness of the world allows individuals to work from practically anywhere they want. As long as they have access to the internet and reliable electronic devices, they can respond to emails, chat with co-workers and even teleconference with their bosses whenever it is required.
Although it is still spring here in Virginia, it is not too early for divorced parents to address their summer parenting plans. Because children generally do not have school in the summer, this means that their summertime child custody and visitation schedule may look different from that they have in the school year.
Parents in Virginia who were very much in love when their child was born may find that as time marches on, while their love for their child grows, the relationship they have with one another has become untenable and they are best off divorcing. When this happens a child custody and parenting plan will need to be established. It is important that parents in Virginia who find themselves in such situations understand their child custody options, so they can make decisions that are in their child's best interests.