The short answer is ‘yes’, Dads often get legal and/or physical custody of their children!
In Virginia, the courts use what is called a ‘best interest of the child’ standard when deciding child custody matters. The factors are found in Virginia Code Section 20-124.3 and these are the things that any Judge, either in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations (JDR) District Court or the Circuit Court must consider before making a child custody decision.
If the child is very young, and the mother is breast feeding the child, that would make it much more difficult for a father to get custody at that time, but other than that, there is no presumption that a mother is the preferred parent.
If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.