A family law attorney can help you understand your state’s laws and legal rights on custody and visitation arrangements. They are experienced in negotiating and establishing legal and physical custody arrangements that prioritize the child’s best interests, including sole and joint custody.
A court might also consider a parent’s ability to provide a nurturing environment for the child while deciding custody. For example, if a child has a strong bond with one parent and wishes to reside with them, the Court may award that parent physical custody.
How a Lawyer Helps You
A lawyer can assist you with your family custody issues in various ways. They can help you with the paperwork, attend court hearings, and meet all deadlines. This gives you peace of mind that the courts will notice your case.
They can also help you decide which custody arrangement is best. Custody arrangements include Full Custody, which means you have control over every decision about your child, and Joint Custody, which means you and the other parent share responsibility for making significant decisions.
Sometimes, a Judge will order home studies or other forensic investigations as part of a child custody proceeding. These can be handy tools in proving a particular point, such as drug abuse or domestic violence.
A Judge makes custody decisions based on the “best interests of the child.” This includes providing a safe home and living environment, each parent’s historical nurturing role, and financial stability. Often, judges seek joint legal custody so each parent has equal decision-making authority. In addition, whoever has physical custody (also known as residential custody) makes daily decisions, such as what food to feed a child or how to get them ready for bed.
Parents can also collaborate to create a visitation schedule that works for them. However, creating a visitation schedule can become contentious. A family custody lawyer can help resolve the issue in the most beneficial way for their client and their relationship with the children.
Representation in Court
In a custody case, the Court must decide which parent will be the primary physical custodian and where the child or children will reside. This decision is based on the “best interests” of the child. The Court will consider the parenting skills of each parent, their income and stability, the safety and home environment that the parents can provide for the children, and other relevant factors.
A good lawyer can handle these matters in an unbiased manner. They will also understand how to use various resources to help the client. These tools include forensic investigations by psychologists or social workers specializing in these cases.
In addition, a lawyer with solid family law knowledge can represent clients in domestic violence, paternity, and adoption cases. These can be cases that are filed in Family, Surrogates, or Supreme Court. These are very delicate situations, and a person must have an attorney who will be able to advocate for them effectively.
Moreover, parents or legal guardians play an essential role in juvenile court. They are customarily compelled to attend hearings and are frequently involved in establishing a rehabilitation or supervision plan.
In child custody cases, judges rely on several factors when they decide which parent should receive legal and physical custody. This includes the established custodial environment (ECE), each parent’s historical nurturing role, and the relative circumstances going into the future. Family lawyers need to know how to argue the importance of each factor to help their clients win their cases.
Family lawyers must be able to keep their emotions in check when it comes to custody disputes. This is a vital attribute of a good lawyer because it allows them to negotiate and advocate for their clients without becoming too involved.
A family law attorney must also have strong research skills to prepare for bar examinations properly. This requires an in-depth understanding of the law and a thorough knowledge of the rules and regulations that apply to a particular state. This is because many states have their bar exam requirements that must be satisfied in addition to the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE).