Whether arranged as part of a divorce or settled between two partners who never married, child custody raises undeniable emotional and legal challenges.
At Reade Law Firm, PC, we help families develop the solutions that are in the best interests of everyone involved. The valuable connection to your child is one we will work to preserve.
Resolution Outside of Court
While it can be challenging to negotiate over such a painful issue, when parents are able to create a parenting plan on their own, the results often fit their short and long-term needs far better than a custody arrangement issued by a judge.
You know your child. You understand the needs, the schedules, and all the factors of daily life that will be affected by custody decisions. The judge hearing your case, on the other hand, will issue a ruling based on a cursory understanding of the circumstances. While you may not get everything you want through negotiation and compromise, you may get far more than you would through an arbitrary judge’s decision.
We employ effective strategies to resolve issues in the conference room rather than the courtroom, devising creative solutions tailored to your specific needs. However, if negotiation fails to settle all the issues, we know how to litigate to achieve your objectives in court.
Types of Custody
Custody involves living arrangements, but it also involves authority over a child’s life. The authority to make decisions about education, medical care, religious instruction and other issues is referred to as legal custody. This is often shared between parents, particularly when the parents have been married.
Physical custody relates to a child’s residential arrangements, and are more commonly referred to as parenting time. Creating a parenting plan for the family involves many factors such as the geographic locations of the parents, the age and schedules of the children, the work schedules of the parties, the history of parenting responsibilities, and the needs of the children.
Whether parents were married or not, there is a general belief that children will benefit from having both parents in their lives to the extent that the parents are willing, able, and such involvement is in the children’s best interest. These are determinations that are factually based and will be different for each family.
Factors That Affect Custody Decisions
Whether a judge is making the decisions or parents are developing their own plans, the best interests of the child should always be the guiding principle. Of course, this can be a highly-subjective standard, so it is important to ensure the other parent and the judge are aware of the factors that weigh in favor of your desired outcome.
Factors that a judge would consider before making a custody determination include:
- The degree to which each parent has provided daily care for the child
- The household arrangements of each parent, including the stability of those arrangements
- The age of the child
- The child’s preferences (if old enough)
It is a good idea for a parent to be able to explain why they want custody, because this question is often asked by judges and by attorneys for the other parent. Remember that custody arrangements are not about winning and losing but about finding solutions that work best for both you and your child.
Work with Reade Law Firm, PC to Protect Your Parental Rights
At Reade Law Firm, PC, we not only know how important custody decisions are for your future, but we also know how to advocate effectively to achieve your custody goals. We take the time to listen so we gain a full understanding of the situation and can help you develop a workable plan for the future.
If you already have a custody plan in place and want to seek modifications, we will demonstrate to the court why modification in your favor would serve the child’s best interests.
To get started, contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.