During the divorce process, the main concern is the best interests of the children. An experienced divorce attorney can give advice on how to handle questions the children may ask about a separation or divorce. As the parties proceed through litigation, an attorney can keep an eye out for potential pitfalls in terms of proposed schedules or other kinds of scenarios that could in the long-term not be beneficial to children based on the experiences that that attorney might have had in past cases. However, the best way to get sound advice about the mental health in family law cases involving children in Fairfax, is to seek input from a mental health professional.

Determining Child Custody

It is important for parties to understand that while convenience to the parents can be an important factor in day to day life, that is not going to be the main concern of the court. In family law cases involving children in Fairfax, the court is mainly concerned with the needs of the child. This may involve looking at the child’s health, how the child is doing in school, their level of social adjustment, and other indicators.

Child custody is determined by the judge. There is no formula within Virginia law that dictates exactly how custody should be determined in family law cases involving children in Fairfax. There is a list of factors required to be considered by the judge in making a determination as to the best interest of the child. Should the parents of a child reach a resolution regarding custody and/or visitation independently, it is still up to the court to review the agreed upon terms and approve the same prior to those terms being codified in a court order.

Best Interest of the Children

It is typically hard for both parents to accept a new reality where they do not get to see their children get up every morning and go to bed every night. This can create emotional stress for the parents as well as for the children. At times both parents have said the custody terms are not fair, and that they need more time with their children. Another issue that can arise in divorce cases involving children in Fairfax is coordination difficulties between the parties. It can be incredibly stressful to try to make decisions about the children in these circumstances.

Considering Therapy

Potential clients are often advised to seek the assistance of mental health professionals, for both themselves and their children. In many cases, it is important for children of a certain age to be able to go to a therapist so that they have a safe place to talk about how they are feeling about the divorce. Feedback from mental health professionals is also often useful for the party going through the divorce as well.

The therapist for the children can sometimes give the parent some ideas for things that might be better or worse to do in a custody arrangement. An individual’s own therapist can help them stay grounded in terms of their expectations surrounding the divorce and dealing with the emotionality of the process.