As a family law trial lawyer, one of the most frequent questions I am asked by clients and prospective clients is, how do I get full custody of my children? The answer to this question is neither straightforward, nor simple. In fact, it is so complicated that the code of Virginia, the law at which by we all live in this Commonwealth, has no less than 10 factors, which courts use to determine what is in the best interests of the child. In Virginia there are two types of custody, legal and physical.
These types of custody are further divided into sole and joint custody. Joint custody means joint legal custody, where both parents retained joint responsibility for the care and control of the child and joint authority to make decisions concerning the child, even though the child’s primary residence may be with only one parent. There’s also joint physical custody, where both parents share physical and custodial care of the child, but it could be any combination of joint legal and joint physical custody, which the court deems to be in the best interest of the child.
Sole custody means that one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child. While it is extremely complicated determine what is in the best interest of the child and accordingly to convince a judge to award you full custody. It is comparatively easy to lose that argument, by making it all about what you want, trying to alienate the children from the other parent and ignoring the statutory factors. Now this may sound like the barber telling you that you need a haircut, but don’t try to do this on your own. You need experience and ability in your corner. Call the professionals at Holcomb Law to help you present your case to the judge, so that the best interests of your children will be represented in the best possible manner.