Child custody negotiations in Virginia often involve determining what arrangements and plans will serve the best interests of the impacted children. Arriving at custody determinations for different children can require parents and their attorneys to take very different paths since different kids can have very divergent needs. There is no one size fits all approach to child custody, and it is therefore important that families provide as much information as possible to their attorneys and the courts so that sound custody decisions can be made.
It can be tempting for parents to wish to hide some of the unfavorable stories or information about their less than perfect parenting when the custody of their kids is on the line. However, concealing information or providing less than complete truths can be detrimental to their cases. This post addresses some of the types of information parents should be prepared to convey when they are negotiating for the custody of their kids.
- The health of the parents: A parent who has received a negative diagnosis may want to conceal that fact from the family law court, but a parent’s mental and physical fitness are important custody factors.
- Allegations of domestic violence: Domestic violence is a serious issue that can have repercussions in family, criminal, and other legal realms. It is important that family law courts understand if instances of domestic violence happened in children’s households.
- Inappropriate discipline or abuse: Words can hurt children just as physical violence can, and a parent who verbally berates or abuses their kids may want to stop a court from finding out this information. Parents should always share the good and the bad of their family situations to avoid future problems.
- Criminal conduct or drug or alcohol use: Past wrongful actions of parents do not always mean that they will be denied custody rights. Involvement in criminal activities, or substance abuse afflictions, may be considered when a court has to decide how to establish the custody of children.
These are only some of the factors that courts may use to decide how and with whom a child should live following a separation or a divorce. For information on how a particular child custody case may resolve, a reader can turn to their knowledgeable family law and divorce attorney.