When parents’ divorce, what child custody arrangement is ultimately put in place is very impactful. One type of custody arrangement is joint custody. This is when divorced parents share custody of their children. This is an alternative to sole custody, in which custody is granted to just one parent. Virginia recently passed a law that some hope will increase how often joint custody is used in the state.
The new law was signed by the governor last month and will go into effect at the start of July. It makes a change to the state’s child custody laws. Specifically, it makes it so that in child custody cases, courts have to consider both joint custody and sole custody. Not giving any consideration to joint custody is not an option under this new law.
Proponents of the new law hope it will lead to fairer decisions and more consideration of joint custody in child custody cases. They also hope it will help with children getting to have meaningful time with both of their parents following divorces.
What effects do you think this new law will have?
Even with this law change, courts have a great deal of discretion here in Virginia when it comes to deciding what child custody arrangement would be in a child’s best interests. So, when in child custody disputes, what kind of case a parent brings forward can matter greatly. Given this, parents may want to bring in skilled legal representation to help them with their arguments and case when child custody disputes arise.