Child Custody

Child custody and parenting time (access or visitation) is among the most contentious issues in a divorce. Our attorneys help parents resolve child custody matters, mindful that the standard in determining same is the best interests of the children.

Legal custody

The courts do not grant joint legal custody arrangements unless both parties agree. Obtaining a joint legal custody order allows parents to make decisions about major life matters for the child. Courts will issue joint legal custody orders when they believe that the parents will be able to work together to benefit the child, and provided both parents agree.

Physical custody

A physical custody order determines where the child lives and for how long. When physical custody is awarded to one parent, the other parent usually receives parenting time (access or visitation rights). Courts look favorably on physical custody arrangements that allow the child to be with both parents. However, there are many instances when this is not possible. When parents are separated by great distances or there is a history of domestic violence, shared physical custody or significant visitation is seldom awarded.

The importance of resolving custody disputes

We work to develop custody proposals that will be accepted by the court and the parties. This is preferable to having the court impose a custody arrangement that may be in no one's best interest. The court may appoint an attorney for the child to investigate and make recommendations about custody and visitation when parents are unable to resolve a custody dispute. The court may also appoint a forensic psychiatrist or psychologist.

Related custody issues

We also help clients with:

  • Relocation issues
  • Enforcement of custody orders
  • Modifications of custody and visitation orders