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Leesburg Divorce Attorney > Blog > Child Custody > Making Parenting Time Arrangements In Virginia

Making Parenting Time Arrangements In Virginia


For parents, spending as much time as possible with their children and ensuring all of their needs are met are top priorities. This can prove difficult when a divorce prevents you from living in the same home. Child custody in Virginia often involves making parenting time arrangements. Our Virginia family attorney explains more about these arrangements and important issues to address.

Shared Custody Arrangements In Virginia

There are several options concerning child custody under the Virginia Code. One that was previously common was to designate one parent as the primary custodian and award the other visitation. This generally allowed the child to stay with one parent during the week while giving the other rights on alternating weekends and or other days.

Over the past decade, these types of arrangements have been increasingly replaced with shared custody plans. These allow today’s parents to make more customized arrangements based on their individual needs and schedules. The child’s best interests are still the primary concern. Before approving shared custody, factors the court will consider include:

  • Each parent’s current and prior role in the child’s life;
  • Their proven ability to meet the child’s needs;
  • Their willingness to work with the other parent in implementing shared custody;
  • Any issues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, that could put the child at risk.

Issues To Address In Determining Parenting Time

In shared custody arrangements, parenting time is divided between the two parties. This is typically negotiated through their legal representatives and in mediation, if necessary. It is important for each party to be respectful and cooperative throughout this process, as they will need these same qualities in working with each other moving forward.

Once a shared custody order is issued through the Loudoun County Family Court, both parties are obligated to follow it. To protect your rights and your child, there are some important issues you will want to address first:

  • Pick-up and drop-off arrangements: This is a common point of contention among parents with shared custody. Make sure these arrangements are included in a court order.
  • Rights to holidays and special occasions: Negotiate the right to spend time with your child over holidays, birthdays, and other special times of year upfront and in a way that is fair to everyone.
  • Unexpected events: The unexpected has a way of happening. Include provisions on how emergencies should be addressed.
  • Resolving disputes: Being specific when making parenting time arrangements can help to prevent problems. At the same time, include provisions for resolving disputes and when you may need to return to court.

Contact Our Child Custody Attorney

Shared custody arrangements are increasingly preferred by unmarried and divorcing parents. However, to avoid future problems, it is important to address certain issues when dividing parenting time. At Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, we protect your rights and provide the trusted legal guidance you need in making these plans. To request a consultation with our Virginia child custody attorney, call or contact us online today.





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