Child Custody, Visitation & Support

CHILD CUSTODY & VISITATION

What are your most important possessions? Your children, of course. No other area of law genders more raw emotion than a dispute over custody and visitation. A good lawyer frequently can guide a case to a settlement that not only avoids going to court, but also provides a parent with fair and equitable custody and visitation rights.

Even if a settlement can't be achieved, it is vitally important to go to court with a lawyer with substantial experience in handling and trying child custody matters. Ward Armstrong is such a lawyer.

First the basics. There are two types of custody in Virginia...legal and residential. Legal custody means a parent has the right to participate in child-rearing decisions. Examples are what doctor the child will see, which school the child will attend, whether to have braces on the child's teeth, and whether the child will go to summer band camp. A parent that has legal custody (or joint legal custody with the other parent) gets a say in these decisions.

Residential custody (some lawyers and judges use the term "physical custody" instead) determines where a child will live most of the time. A parent who is the sole residential custodian will have the child more than 50% of the time and the other parent will likely have visitation rights.

Over the past few years courts have more frequently ordered joint residential custody. This usually means the child will spend one week with one parent and the next week with the other on an alternating basis.

Knowing what to expect if a custody case were to go to court for determination is extremely important in negotiating a settlement.

Ward has the extensive experience in custody and visitation matters to help get you the time with your child that you and your child need and deserve. After all, Ward is a parent himself.

CHILD SUPPORT

Once custody is determined the next step is to establish what amount of child support will be paid. The law uses a complicated formula to make this calculation.

As the old computer guru used to say "garbage in...garbage out" meaning a computer's calculations are only as good as the information being fed into the computer to begin with. The same is true of figuring child support.

Ward will help you assemble the data for both yourself and the other parent to make an accurate calculation of child support. In fact Ward can calculate the likely amount of child support right in his office.

Whether a settlement is negotiated or the case goes before the judge, don't get caught receiving or paying an unfair amount.


Ward Armstrong...a lawyer fighting for you!

Note: Child custody, visitation and support can be handled with or without the filing of a divorce.  If child custody is a part of a likely divorce case click here to go to our webpage on separation and divorce.

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