Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Child Custody

Facts: I divorced for about two years, am a father of 11-year old daughter and 13-year old son. I just re-married about 6 months ago and we are going to have another baby this year. My ex-wife has sole custody of my children, and I have child visitation right. My ex-wife is single and does not spend time with her children. Since right after divorce, my son has been asking if he can live with me since I would help him more with his school work, and since he loves the family life that I provide him now. My daughter is indicisive. She wants to live with me too because her Mom does not spend time with her at all (as she told me); however, she wants to try with her Mom for few more months.

Questions: Are my children old enough to testify in front of a judge?

What chances do I have to fight for child custody?

For the benefit of the kids, do the law favor child custody to a parent who has a stable family life?

Asked on 3/20/02, 9:41 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: Child Custody

Both of your children are old enough to testify in court. A stable home life will always be considered favorably by the court, but, only

as one of many factors in determining what is in the children's best interest and, which parent

is in the best position to promote that best interest.

After an initial consultation for which I charge $62.50, I would be in a better position to advise you regarding your chances of winning custody of your children.

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Answered on 3/20/02, 4:07 pm
Lisa Lane McDevitt McDevitt Law Office

Re: Child Custody

Your children are old enough to testify but it is really up to the judge whether the judge will accept the testimony. That being said, courts generally look to many factors in deciding child custody and if your ex-wife is not spending much time with the children that is a significant factor. Also your ability to spend more time with them is a bonus. After all is that not what all children deserve? Tell me, does your new wife have the ability to stay at home with the children or to meet them after school. While this is not crucial it would significantly increase your chance of custody so long as you can show that the children have a good relationship with her. Even if she can't the fact that you have a bonding relationship with the children and the boy wants to be with you you should file a petition for modification of custody. God bless you darlin' because it always warms my heart to see fathers being a dad! Don't let anything stop you from being a positive influence on your children.

Good luck to you. If you have any questions please give me a call at 703-968-3974 or 301-652-0663.

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Answered on 3/26/02, 10:04 pm

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