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Compassionate Northern Virginia Child Custody Lawyers Helping to Resolve Sensitive Issues

Northern Virginia child custody lawyers, ready to help you with all your family legal needs

Child Custody in Northern Virginia

Child custody is a very dynamic and sometimes uncertain area of law. Each situation is different and the parents’ and children’s situations change over time. This is also the most emotionally charged area within family law.  Our Northern Virginia child custody lawyers are experienced in handling simple and complex custody issues at every stage of litigation and settlement, including initial determinations of child custody and child visitation as well modifications of existing agreements and court orders.

Our Northern Virginia child custody attorneys have handled a wide variety of custody cases, working extensively with local mental health professionals and substance abuse professionals in fashioning appropriate custodial arrangements. We have worked with such professionals throughout Northern Virginia, especially in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Arlington County, and Alexandria City. 

While a negotiated settlement almost always works best for children and parents in child custody situations, there are times when court-ordered relief is the only option. We understand that your child’s safety and emotional well-being is of the utmost importance.  When the courts are needed to ensure a child’s best interests, we are experienced in advocating for the best result for the child. We regularly work with clients when there are issues of physical abuse and/or mental abuse between the parents or against a child in the family. We understand how to navigate the court system to get your relief as quickly as possible.  We also have extensive experience defending against false allegations of abuse when they arise.  

When issues involving child custody are presented to courts, the judges are required to consider a variety of statutory factors.  The list is found in Virginia Code § 20-124.3 as follows:

  1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs;

  2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;

  3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;

  4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;

  5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;

  6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;

  7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;

  8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age, and experience to express such a preference;

  9. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228 or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and

  10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

In presenting a child custody or child visitation case, the custody and visitation attorneys from Hirsch & Ehlenberger, P.C. are mindful of each of these factors so they can put on the best evidence in your case so the judge will have the information to make an informed decision.  Our Northern Virginia child custody attorneys will work with you to prepare for your court appearance, including preparing exhibits and your testimony.   We have presented cases throughout Northern Virginia for decades, including cases in the Circuit Courts and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts of Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Arlington County, and Alexandria City.

Courts do not lose jurisdiction over child custody and child visitation issues until the children emancipate (typically at age 18) even if the parents have reached a prior written agreement or there is an existing custody order.  Modifications of custody or visitation situations can be achieved only after showing a material change in circumstances that warrants a modification.  Many litigants who do not have lawyers assisting them in filing or presenting their case often fail to address this important threshold issue.  Our Northern Virginia child custody lawyers are experienced in negotiating modifications of custody and visitation orders when needed, as we understand that your children’s needs and preferences may change as they get older, requiring you to re-address these areas.  

Contact Hirsch & Ehlenberger, P.C. to ask about having a consultation to discuss how we can help you navigate the child custody and child visitation process.  
If you would like more information about what to expect before, during and after your divorce or custody case, take a look at the services we provide and please feel free to contact Hirsch & Ehlenberger, P.C. to set up an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.  Our Northern Virginia child custody attorneys are ready and willing to help.