There is nothing more important than your kids…
Which is why I devote my practice to family law. You want their best interests to be protected when going through a divorce or child custody dispute and that should be the driving factor in your case.
Most motions affecting the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) are driven by the standard of “what is in the best interests of the child.” This includes determining parenting time, decision making responsibilities, and relocation of the child. However, what you believe is in your child’s best interests may look very different from what the other parent or even the judge believes. How you present the best interest factors in court may determine the outcome of your custody issue so having the right attorney is important.
As a parent going through a child custody case you will be scrutinized and need to be prepared as you participate in the process.
Courts will often appoint parental responsibilities experts such as Child and Family Investigators (CFIs) or Parental Responsibilities Evaluators (PREs). Selecting the right evaluator for the circumstances and preparing you for the evaluation process is often critical to the best outcome. The evaluator’s opinion of your parenting skills and personality may make all the difference in what they recommend to the court. I will work with you in advance of this process so you are not simply going in with good intentions.
Relocation of a Child Out of the Geographical Area
Although either parent has the constitutional right to relocate to another area if they wish, the court in a child custody case has jurisdiction over which parent will have primary residential custody and what the parenting time schedule of each parent will be. The judge will consider what is in the child’s best interests in addition to other factors set forth by statute. There is no preference given to one gender over the other. A parent seeking to relocate the child away from the other parent will need to present a compelling case if they expect to have a majority of parenting time in the new location.
Child Support Obligations
Whether you are paying or receiving child support accurately calculating income is critical to the process. This is more complicated that simply looking at a pay-stub or W-2 because the statutory definition of income is very inclusive.
The court will expect each party to make full financial disclosures early in the process and I will be working with you to figure what should or should not be considered income and other credits.
Circumstances change and when they do child support obligations may also need to change. I will need to consider the facts specific to your circumstances to determine if a child support modification is available.
Civil protection orders may be available to restrain contact and communication between one party to another when a judge finds that an imminent danger exists to the person or persons seeking protection, including the minor children and pets of the person seeking protection. A permanent protection order has serious consequences including potential criminal liability, prohibiting possession of firearms, and on certain employment rights. Once a protection order is issued a hearing will be held to determine whether is should be made permanent.