Do I Need a Lawyer to Negotiate a Child Custody Arrangement?
Child custody disputes are one of the major reasons for contested divorce cases. Both parents want to find an arrangement that’s fair, and as expected, they both want to spend as much time with the child as possible. What’s even more important is that the best interests of the child are being served.
Many considerations must be made when deciding on a child custody arrangement. If you’re asking yourself whether you need a lawyer to negotiate a child custody arrangement, you probably do.
What Is a Child Custody Arrangement?
A child custody arrangement, also called a parenting plan, is when both parents have an established strategy in place regarding the care and parenting of their child. This usually includes designated times each parent will have with the child, as well as agreed-upon parenting rules and decisions.
The following are the three main types of custody:
- Physical custody is the actual physical time a parent is allowed with the child. Sole physical custody is when one parent has all of the physical custody, with the other parent being granted none.
- Joint physical custody means both parents share physical custody. There can also be a primary custodial parent, meaning one parent has the child most of the time and the other has visitation rights.
- Legal custody is the right to make important decisions on behalf of the child. Both parents can have legal custody, or just one could have it.
What Is Considered When Deciding on a Custody Arrangement?
Many important factors must be considered before coming to a child custody arrangement. Even if both parents are able to agree on an arrangement without using attorneys or the courts, chances are they’ve considered most of the following elements:
- The child’s age
- The child’s school
- The relationship between each parent and the child
- The health, safety, and welfare of the child
- Whether a parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse
- The child’s preference, if applicable
Your attorney and the courts will certainly take these items into consideration, as well.
Meet with a Child Custody Lawyer
If you’ve been wondering whether you need a lawyer to negotiate a child custody arrangement, you may want to at least speak with one to discuss your options. The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock can give you a good sense of how we can help with your unique situation.
Call us at 909-466-7661 or complete the contact form below to schedule your consultation with us.