What Happens To Children While The Divorce Is Pending?

Divorce cases can take some time and many issues simply cannot wait for a resolution. As such, the court allows for some temporary orders to be made in order to address some of these pressing matters. Temporary custody orders are among them and, as the name implies, these orders are not permanent and are only meant to last until the divorce or child custody proceedings end. Typically, a judge will order temporary custody to provide children with a stable environment until the case reaches a resolution and to prevent a parent from moving out of state with the children. If for example, the other parent threatens to take your children away, a custody order will help you retain parental rights and prohibit your ex-spouse from doing anything to endanger your relationship with your children.

Establishing Temporary Custody

Temporary custody is not automatically given, but rather something you must formally request while your divorce is pending. This can be made within your petition for a divorce, or shortly after you file the paperwork. A judge will then hold a hearing on this separate matter. During this hearing, it is crucial to be well prepared to address any of the following issues:

  • Child support
  • Visitation schedules
  • Domestic violence
  • Health insurance
  • Cost of transportation

How Does A Judge Determine Custody in Virginia?

There are several relevant factors a judge will consider when determining custody, some of which will depend upon your particular state, but the paramount decisive factor will always be the best interests of your children. Other factors include:

  • The relationship each parent has with the child
  • The emotional and physical health of each parent
  • The child's emotional needs
  • The ability of each parent to meet the child's needs

While this is not a permanent custody decision by any means, a temporary custody order could influence final decisions, so treat this hearing seriously and hire an Henrico County child custody attorney who can craft a strong case for you.

Can I Lose Temporary Custody?

Generally, temporary custody orders are meant to stay in place until a divorce is finalized, but a judge can always alter custody if it is not serving the best interests of the child. If there has been a major change in circumstances and the child's needs are not being met, or one parent is preventing visitation with the other, a parent might lose temporary custody. Even if you lose temporary custody, however, it is still possible you can regain it again in the future.

Always make sure to take advantage of any visitation opportunities you might have with your child. If you have been ordered to pay child support, stay current on your payments and keep records of any extra money you spend on your child, including costs associated with purchasing new clothing, or extracurricular activities. These are excellent ways to prove to a judge that you are putting the needs and interests of your child first.

How We Can Help

If you are in the midst of a child custody case, you will need a professional and compassionate attorney to assist you and ensure that your family's best interests are protected. Child custody is one of the most contested and emotional issues in a divorce. At DeFazio Bal, our Richmond legal team has over 55 years of combined experience in helping families through difficult divorces and any family law matters they might encounter. Our firm is dedicated to helping you reach your desired outcome and will provide personalized representation that suits the specific circumstances of your case.

Discuss Your Options With An Experienced Family Law Attorney

DeFazio Bal serves clients throughout Central Virginia from our offices in Midlothian and Glen Allen. To arrange an initial consultation, call us at 804-419-6551 or send us an email.