What to do if my wife and I are going through a separation/divorce and I would like shared physical/legal custody but she wants shared legal/sole physical custody?

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What to do if my wife and I are going through a separation/divorce and I would like shared physical/legal custody but she wants shared legal/sole physical custody?

We have an 18 month old son together. I’m currently paying all health insurance $430 month (for the 3 of us as well as for her 11 year old son), plus $500 a month for daycare for our son. The house is in my name, however, I have moved out so that her son can stay there until this school year is completed. We currently have visitation (not legal) where one week, our son’s with me Wednesday and Thursday nights, and then the next week Wednesday through Sunday night. We have always shared all responsibilities when it comes to him. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on January 8, 2013 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The state of Virginia - like all other states - makes it determination as to custody "in the best interests of the child."  There are many factors that the court looks at the determine who a child will be placed with most of the time and which parent will get more of a visitation status.  I do have to tell you that usually one parent is the custodial parent and one parent is the one with a visitation schedule.  Since she will not agree otherwise you may have to make a plan to show the court that it can indeed work for you.  Some parents live in close proximity to each other (literally the same complex or development) so that there are not different bus schedules or school districts or daycare issues, etc.  I understand that your son is young now but thinking ahead can be a good things here.  Please speak with a lawyer.  Good luck.


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