We've all heard the phrase, "I WANT CUSTODY OF MY KIDS." The problem is that the court looks at custody in two respects: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. It's important to understand the definition of both.
The parent who holds the "Sole Legal Custody" of any child is the one who makes the decisions regarding all health, safety, welfare and moral issues for that child. Unless it can be proven that a parent shouldn't be making these decisions directly and indirectly related to these interests, Joint Legal Custody is a potential order that can be made by the court. A Joint Legal Custody order grants both parents the power to have equal decision-making authority on each of these issues. However, there often are particular needs or issues related to your child that requires decision-making authority by the parent closest to the issue, persons or circumstances that lends to an order designated to one parent specific to that issue. This often requires legal argument and a best interest analysis. I make certain that all aspects of legal custody are considered and that I answer every question or concern that you may have regarding legal custody.
The "Physical Custody" order is that which defines the actual timeshare periods that shall exercised by you with your child. The Visitation schedule that you seek from the court should take into consideration a number of introspective and thoughtful concerns that we fully examine in an experienced and parent-centered way that focuses on the very best interest of your child. Very often in the initial process of parental separation, parents have to make major adjustments to their lives. Change is inevitable as it relates to work schedules, child care, living arrangements, educational considerations, special needs, transportation issues and the list goes on and on. It is best to determine the foreseeable issues in advance to either convey your argument to the court or to reduce to a writing in your final judgment. Either way, you want to be certain that your right, interests and personal circumstances are protected and addressed in your legal proceeding before the court.
The Parenting Plan between a party and their children is one of the most critical and practical considerations to your Divorce or Paternity action.
A quality visitation schedule requires meaningful foresight and an strong understanding of how the lives of the parties and the children are best served. More times than not, each parent will fight for orders granting the majority timeshare with the children in his or her favor.
I listen to you. I make sure that all aspects of you life and the lives of your children are discussed and examined in an effort to meet the best interests of each person involved.
Sometimes an attorney will strongly advise a client to agree to certain terms to a Custody order that the client knows to be less than beneficial in the long run. Maybe you've experienced an attorney who pressures you into agreeing to terms and orders that have a lingering long-term affect on your well-being and the well-being of the children. I will not advise or recommend a course of action regarding Custody and Visitation until you have been provided a legal ground as to why it is an appropriate approach and why this course would be acceptable to the court. I will equally not concede to an opposing counsel's position on Custody and Visitation just to pacify an attorney's conduct or attitude.
Your Custody and Visitation order can remain in effect for up to 18 years or more when the circumstances dictate. Though you may believe that it can easily be changed or modified, this isn't always true. The best thing for a parent to do is to do it right the first time. I make certain that all issues and concerns are met before I present your position to the court or to the other side if settlement is possible.
Being aggressive in Family Law matters means many things. Our efforts are concentrated to ensure that your position is conveyed and argued with a sense of tact, decorum and assertiveness in the best interest of your matter and circumstances.