How does the court make custody decisions?
The primary concern of any Virginia court regarding custody is the best interest of the child. The court will take into consideration numerous factors when determining custody, including the following:
- The child’s gender, current age, physical and mental status. The parent’s current age, physical and mental status.
- The child’s developing physical and mental health needs.
- The parent with whom the child has had primary care.
- The relationship the child has with each parent and the impact of each on the child.
- The relationship of the child with other family members (siblings, extended family members) and friends.
- Any history of physical or verbal abuse.
- Each parent’s capability to fulfill the child’s basic necessities such as food, clothing, housing, medical and dental care.
- The lifestyle of each parent and the effect of lifestyle on the child.
- The willingness of the parent to foster a nurturing, consistent relationship between the child and the other parent.
- The inclination of each parent to cooperate with the other parent.
- The child’s preference for custody if the child is of acceptable age and capable of understanding the choices required.