During a divorce, it’s understandable for two people to be worried about what possessions they might end up losing to the other party in the divorce settlement. However, not getting custody of the kids is usually even more concerning in Virginia. Developing a mutually agreed-upon parenting plan can help two divorcing individuals and their kids to more effortlessly ease into a normal, stable routine post-divorce.
The parenting plan is the main schedule dictating the family’s activities over the course of 10 or 15 years for many families. This is why it is one of the most essential parts of a divorce proceeding. If a judge has to determine child custody because the parents couldn't develop this kind of plan on their own, the outcome unfortunately may not be in line with either or both parents’ wishes.
It's also worth noting that even if the two parents don’t want to necessarily stay friends following their split, it’s important that they maintain cordial relations when in front of the kids. Behind the scenes, the two parents might be fighting about schedule conflicts or money. However, keeping these issues from rearing their ugly heads in the children’s sight can help to protect the children from emotional harm.
Child custody can be a point of conflict in a divorce because both parents typically value their time with the children. Each parent generally has an equal right to custody of their kids in Virginia. When a judge has to make a custody decision, he or she looks at factors such as the children’s and parents’ wishes and most importantly considers what is best for the kids in the long run.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Lessons: 8 Critical Choices in Making a Positive Split", John McElhenney, Aug. 5, 2014