If you have one or more children and are getting a divorce, then you will almost certainly need legal help. A good lawyer can help you sort out complex child custody matters that would be difficult or even impossible for you to work out with your spouse on your own. He or she can also help you prepare for the case and represent you in court, greatly increasing the chances of your being able to play an active role in your children’s lives both now and in the future.
There are several factors taken into account when determining child custody. If the child or children are 12 years of age or older, the judge will often ask them which parent they would like to live with. In most cases the judge will grant the request of the older child; however, if the older child has younger siblings then the judge will often try to keep the kids together.
Another way of determining who gets possession of the children is to see who the children’s primary caregiver is. The parent who takes care of the child/children most of the time in most cases will be able to keep the children with him or her. The other parent may be granted joint managing conservatorship (or the equivalent of shared custody) or simply be allowed access to the children at certain times and for certain lengths of time. In such an event, the parent with whom the children are living would have sole managing conservatorship and would be able to make decision on his or her own regarding schooling, medical matters and psychiatric care.
Naturally, there are instances where it is clear-cut who the children should live with. If one parent is violent in nature or is in jail or a mental institution, the parent who is actually taking care of the children will be granted sole conservatorship and the access rights of the other parent will be limited. However, most cases are not clear cut and a judge may even order that a social study be done to determine which living environment is best for the kids.
Regardless of how or why you are getting a divorce, your children deserve the best custody arrangement possible. If the child is indeed better off with the other parent, we will work hard to ensure that you get joint conservatorship so that you remain involved in all important decisions. We can also ask the court to mandate that your ex-spouse and your children not move from the County or the state, as such a move would make it difficult for you to visit them. If you want to have the kids live with you (and the children want this as well) we will show evidence on your behalf proving that the kids should remain in your care. Our supportive, caring team is effective and efficient in helping your kids continue to receive the loving treatment and care they deserve.