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Types of Custody in Virginia




In the Commonwealth of Virginia, there are two types of custody the courts must consider when making a determination in the best interest of the child: legal custody and physical custody.


Legal custody for a child is typically concerned with decision-making ability and can either be sole or joint in nature. Sole legal custody provides that one parent has the responsibility for the decision-making authority of the child’s life that are not merely limited to the day-to-day matters. Joint legal custody is when both parents of a child share the responsibilities of the child and have joint authority to make decisions regarding the child’s care. In a joint legal custody scenario, it does not matter if the child resides with one parent for more time than the other. Both parents get to be equally involved in the decision-making matters for the child. Typically, the matters encompassed under the legal custody umbrella can be, but are not limited to, decisions concerning the child’s schooling, medical care, religious/non-religious upbringing, etc.


Physical custody of a child addresses where the child resides. A child can either be in a primary physical or shared physical custody situation. The Code of Virginia more specifically delineates the definition of primary and shared custody situations, which are based on the number of overnights the child spends with each parent during a calendar year.


Since there are numerous factors to consider in matters concerning a child’s custody, at Morris Williams LLC - A Family Law Firm, our attorneys will take the time to discuss these factors in consideration of the unique circumstances of your matter. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at admin@morriswilliamslaw.com or by calling (757) 266-9425 to find out more.

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