WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Virginia

Custody

Updated: 
December 4, 2020

What is joint custody?

Joint custody could be divided into joint legal and joint physical custody.

Joint legal custody: Both parents share the power to make major decisions about the child’s well-being, even though the child’s primary residence may be with one parent.

Joint physical custody: The child will split his/her time between both parents’ homes. It does not necessarily mean that the child will live with each parent 50% of the time – the time will be split in a way that the judge determines is in the best interests of the child.1

The court may choose any combination of joint legal and joint physical custody that would be in the best interests of the child. This could mean that

  • the child lives with one parent, but both parents have the power to make decisions about the child;
  • the child lives with both parents (split-time) and both parents have the power to make decisions about the child; or
  • the child lives with both parents, but only one parent has the power to make major decisions about the child.1

1 Va. Code § 20-124.1