We Can Help With Child Custody And Visitation Matters
Child custody issues often highlight all that is difficult about divorce and family law. In a divorce, two people agree, to varying degrees, that they no longer wish to be married. If they have children, they then have to reach an agreement regarding how they will raise their children.
Child Custody And Placement
There are two important elements of your custody agreement. There is child custody, or what is sometimes referred to as decision-making authority. This is the ability to make important decisions for your children regarding their education, religion and health care and when they may obtain a driver’s license. It may also be called legal custody. This authority may be given solely to one parent, but in most cases, it is a joint authority given to both parents.
The other element is placement. This is where the child will spend their time and sleep at night. Placement schedules can vary widely; if the parents can develop a residential schedule that is in their child’s best interest, they may submit it to the court. If this is possible, it will likely produce a placement schedule that will work best for your family.
Mediation May Be Required
If the you and your child’s other parent cannot agree, mediation will become mandatory and will be used to work out a solution. We can advise you during this process. However, during mediation, you will negotiate directly with your former spouse and work to reach a viable agreement.
If you cannot reach a mediated placement schedule, a guardian ad litem (GAL) will be appointed by the court and will examine all aspects of your family’s situation. The GAL will provide the court with a report that it will use to create a placement schedule, and the judge will impose that plan based on the child’s best interests.
A Schedule That Works For Your Children
Developing a workable schedule can be complex. If both parents want shared placement, the details of the schedule will be influenced by their child’s age and their work schedules. The placement schedule of a parent who works rotating shifts or travels frequently will look very different from that of a parent who works 9-to-5 and rarely travels. Placements that work for toddlers may not work well for teens.
Our lawyers can help you develop a plan that works with your life. Cooperation with your child’s other parent may be difficult, but a careful placement schedule can help create the routine and predictability that can help children adjust and minimize conflict in the relationship.
This Is Difficult, But We Can Help
Our attorneys at Thelen & Associates LLC will work with you to understand your family’s situation and how to develop a parenting plan and a custody agreement that works for you and your children.