Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

Child custody determinations require proof

Even when it's the right decision under the circumstances for a Virginia couple to go their own way, divorce can be tough on everyone, and this is especially true when children are involved. As with all issues before the family court, if the couple can agree to a child custody arrangement on their own, the court will, in most instances, allow it to stand and certify it as a final order. However, there may be valid reasons why one parent wants to restrict or deny custody to the other parent. If so, specific forms of proof will be required in an effort to persuade the judge to grant the proposed custody arrangement.

As legal professionals understand, providing the court with a written version of the argument along with supporting documentation is apt to be a successful formula. Judges review all submissions before the actual hearing, and the more the court understands a litigant's position beforehand, the better.

The type of specific information that may be persuasive to the judge includes evidence of contact. Phone records and visitation logs, for example, can demonstrate the consistency and breadth of contact with the child or the lack thereof. Other forms of documentation include statements from family members, friends and teachers, and it may be appropriate to include a child custody evaluation, which courts often order as a matter of course but can be initiated privately.

Important legal matters that will have a significant impact on everyone's life moving forward must be determined before a divorce can be finalized. Even where there is an uncontested divorce, it may be wise to consult an experienced family law attorney.

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