Custody & Parenting
If parents were never married, or after parents get divorced, they often disagree as to how to share access to and time with their child(ren), as well as routine decisions regarding daily care. Conflicts often arise regarding parenting time (visitation) schedules, transitions between households, transportation, exchange or drop-off locations, selection of babysitters, holiday schedules, sharing of clothing and toys between households, discipline and numerous other issues.
Often parties are successfully able to come up with a parenting time schedule without going to court. These arrangements are often the most satisfying for the parents and children as it allows them to find the best solution for everyone involved. If custody is determined by the courts, it can be very expensive, time-consuming, and difficult emotionally for all parties, including the children. In most cases, the court will use a “best interests” of the child analysis to determine who should get custody of the children.
There are two kinds of custody, “legal custody” and “physical custody.” “Legal custody” means the right to participate in decision-making and determining a child’s upbringing, including education, health care and religious training. “Physical custody” means the routine daily care, control and residence of the child.
In many cases, parenting time schedules need to be modified as the child matures or to accommodate changed circumstances, including employment schedules and living arrangements. Whether establishing an initial parenting plan, or modifying an existing schedule, our attorneys are child-focused and strive not only to resolve existing conflicts, but anticipate changes, so as to minimize future conflicts to the extent possible.