There are two types of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody is the right to have your children in your physical presence. Legal custody is the right to be informed of and advise on major decisions that affect your children such as schooling, religion, and medical procedures. Your degree of custody impacts support obligations and visitation schedules as well as your level of involvement in your child's life .
Spousal and child support are important assets to help people stabilize their lives after divorce or separation. While spousal support is likely only temporary if ordered at all, child support is an obligation that parents are duty bound to pay. People do not get thrown in jail for not paying a car loan or a mortgage but they do get jail time for failure to pay child support.
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People who divorce in Virginia can follow two paths, no-fault divorce or fault based divorce. To be eligible for a no-fault divorce, a couple must have no children and have lived separate and apart for at least six months. Couples who have children from their marriage or those who seek fault-based grounds such as adultery or abandonment must live separate and apart for one full year. Divorce is a long process and affects support, custody, and visitation.
A parent who does not have primary physical custody must utilize visitation in order to see her children. When parents cannot agree on what is reasonable, courts will step in and order visitation according to a schedule which considers birthdays, holidays, vacations and whether or not the visitation must be supervised by a third party.