Child Custody & Visitation

You do not need to be married or divorced to make a parenting plan or visitation schedule. Protect your rights and rights of your children. If you can’t reach an early compromise on the issues of custody (who has legal authority over the child and where does the child live), visitation (how often and under what conditions does the noncustodial parent spend time with the child), and child support (whether the noncustodial parent contributes anything to the costs of raising the child), you will have to submit your dispute to the court system.

Joint custody – this means that each parent has equal authority over the key decisions in the child’s life, such as education and medical care, as well as a legal obligation to care for and support the child. Physical custody (where the child lives) is typically shared, with the child spending some days or weeks with one parent and living with the other parent at other times. Sometimes the court will award one parent “primary physical custody,” while the other is given :reasonable rights of visitation.” The parent who isn’t the primary caretaker during the school week is granted liberal rights to spend weekends or other time with the child unless there is a strong reason why this would be detrimental to the child.

Throughout the child’s life, modifications of the court order may become necessary due to parent relocation; changes to job, residence or circumstance; or even, inappropriate parent conduct.

For every phase of child custody and visitation, Hainer Porras has the experience to handle it. Our firm is dedicated to protecting your parental rights as well as maintaining an eye on the best interests of your child. Our firm has handled a wide variety of custody matters including cases involving allegations of abuse & neglect, complex psychological issues, and

Divorce agreements are not written in stone as a lasting solution. A new marriage, job loss or the decision to relocate for a job are all factors which could cause your current divorce decree to be modified. OUr firm is available to help ensure your support and custody agreements meet your needs and those of your children based on your current situation. If the financial situation for you or your ex-spouse has changed, your current child support orders could possibly be modified. You will need to demonstrate a material change in circumstances, including a change in income to either party, child care expenses, or health insurance costs. Circumstances which may prompt a change to the child support order include: a job loss affecting parents’ ability to make child support payments in full; one parent is now available to provide day care, creating an opportunity to decrease the child support payments; job promotion increases the amount of child support one parent pays; changes in the child’s educational or medical needs increases child support payments; child turns 18, making child support no longer necessary.

Child visitation as well as child custody can be modified, too, based on factors threatening a child’s well-being, including domestic violence and substance abuse.

If your circumstances have changed, entrust our law firm to help you secure your legal rights. We will evaluate your individual situation to better understand if modifying a pre-existing support, custody or visitation order is a viable solution.

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For further information or questions please schedule a consultation in our Alexandria, Virginia office.

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