Child Custody Attorney

Child Custody Lawyer with 20 years of experience.

Whenever a Virginia family court considers a child custody matter, it will determine the following:

  • Sole or joint legal custody — Legal custody, whether it is awarded to one parent or is divided between both, this determines which parent has legal authority to make key decisions regarding the lives of their children.
  • Physical custody — This determines with which parent the child will live. This parent is termed the physical custodian parent.
  • Visitation — This determines the terms by which the children will be allowed to visit the noncustodial parent.

The Virginia family court will always put one concern first: the best interests of the children. The Law Office of James J. McCoart, III, can explain how these considerations may apply to your particular case.

Creating effective parenting plans with the assistance of a child custody attorney

In every custody or visitation matter, the Court in determining the best interests of the child must consider the factors in Virginia Code Section §20-124.3.

Parents who are involved in disputes involving custody of their children should take the necessary steps to protect their children from any pain and anguish in their legal matters.

Parenting agreements are binding agreements which outline a child custody arrangement. The agreement can stipulate sole or joint custody, physical custody, visitation and other concerns. The agreement can also detail what happens if the situation of one parent changes significantly. James J. McCoart, III, has more than 20 years experience in negotiating and/or litigating custody cases. He brings compassion, understanding and ethical representation to his role as counsel for his custody clients.

Child Custody Modification

Virginia family law allows modifications when circumstances change

In any case involving child custody, the Court has one key concern in mind at all times: the well-being of the child. Courts realize that circumstances and situations change, and understand that custody arrangements that worked in the past may not be appropriate in the present.

James J. McCoart, III, is an experienced child custody modification attorney.

Child custody modifications lawyer understands the circumstances courts may consider

Courts in the state of Virginia have jurisdiction over issues of child custody until the child reaches age 18. Judges have the right to modify custody orders if circumstances affecting the best interests of the child have changed. Before modifying a child custody order, the Court may consider a number of factors, including the:

  • Nature of the parent-child relationship
  • Age, mental health and character of the parents
  • Stability of the home environments in question
  • Financial and employment status of the parents
  • Health of the parents
  • Wishes of the child
  • Age and gender of the child
  • Ability of each parent to meet the needs for the child
  • Potential impact of custodial changes on the stability fo the child
The best interests of the child is always paramount

A child custody modification lawyer can explain that the precedent set by the Supreme Court in the case Keel v. Keel states there are two factors to consider when considering modification of child custody:

  • Have circumstances materially changed since the previous custody order?
  • Is a custodial change in the best interests of the child?

As an experienced child custody modifications attorney, James J. McCoart, III, can assist you throughout this complex legal issue.

Contact The Law Office of James J. McCoart, III, by telephone (703) 369-2734, or email for representation in your child custody or child custody modification case. We serve clients throughout Northern Virginia.