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Buchbauer & McGuire, PC

110 North Braddock Street
Winchester, VA 22601-3914

Telephone

(540) 722-2300

Fax

(540) 722-3174

Our Office Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm

E-mail Us

Via online inquiry form

Buchbauer and McGuire: 110 North Braddock Street, Winchester, VA 22601-3914

Child Custody

Perhaps no conflict is more important, or stressful, for a party than litigation involving the custody of his or her child.  In Virginia, both legal and physical custody must be established.  Legal custody involves decision-making on behalf of the child, while physical custody relates more to the amount of time a child spends with each parent.  While the parents presumptively are the best custodians of a child, third parties such as grandparents may gain custody if they can prove by clear and convincing evidence that certain circumstances exist, such as abandonment, neglect or voluntary relinquishment of the child.

Virginia law sets forth specific factors the Court must consider in determining what custodial arrangement is in a child’s best interests.  The factors include who has been the child’s primary caretaker in the past, who is best able to assess and meet the child’s needs, the age, physical and mental condition of the parents and the child, the propensity of each parent to support the child’s relationship with the other parent, and the preference of the child (if the child is of sufficient age and maturity to express a preference). The Court must consider each statutory factor, with no single factor being determinative.