Child custody and visitation is a sensitive topic in Family Law. We understand that your children, their health and well-being, and their happiness is the most important concern during these difficult times. The care of your children can loosely be arranged into two categories: their physical care and their financial support. Both are important, and both are necessary. As you face a child custody dispute, we want to help you move forward with confidence, knowledge and preparation.
Child custody consists of two factors: the time each parent has the care of the children (physical custody), and the ability to make decisions in the well-being of your children (legal custody).
Legal custody is the authority to make decisions involving your children, such as their school, doctors, care-givers, activities, etc. While the Courts favor joint legal custody (where the parents work together and discuss all decisions affecting your children), it may not work in all cases. This will be something to explore with your family law attorney.
Physical custody is the time you and the other parent spend with your children (timeshare). Timeshare is the actual time each parent has the care of the children, which can vary greatly. While the court encourages the children to spend significant time with each parent, this is not always best for your family or your specific situation. We want to pursue the right solution for your unique circumstances. The complexity can be in arranging a schedule that will allow the children to thrive in school, participate in their extra-curricular activities, while maintaining a relationship with both parents. Some parents live close enough to each other to share in the school drop-offs and pick-ups, while some parents are unable to shoulder the school responsibility due to distance and work commitments. It is paramount to find a workable timeshare schedule unique to your situation which will prioritize the well-being of your children.
We assess the parents’ prior involvement in the children’s lives, work and school schedules, activities and travel obligations, distance between the households, and numerous other factors to work with you in finding a schedule that will work for you and your family.
While it is ideal for the parents to work out a custodial schedule amongst themselves, we understand this is not always possible. You have an opportunity to reach a mutual agreement regarding child custody outside of a courtroom, and we can guide you through that process.
In some matters, the parents are not able to reach an agreement and having the family court intervene is necessary to assist you in determining the best interest of your children. Family court judges can have wide discretion in deciding child custody orders, and we work with you to present your case to the court.