WHICH PARENT SHOULD BE AWARDED CUSTODY OF THE CHILDREN?
Nothing is more important than the custody and welfare of your children. You cannot afford to leave custody and parenting time issues to chance, to paralegals, to inexperienced attorneys, or to attorneys who are not willing to do the work.
Custody or legal decision-making authority basically refers to which parent will make the important decisions in your child’s life. Typically, the Court awards either sole custody, where one person makes the important decisions, or joint custody, where both parents mutually make the decisions. Sometimes there can be a mixture of sole and joint custody, i.e., one parent makes decisions regarding health care, while the other makes the decisions regarding education or religion.
Every custody case is different because all parents have a different level of involvement in their child’s life. Sometimes both parents take an active role. In other cases, while one parent may be a decent person, he or she has never had any involvement in the child’s education, health care, moral up-bringing or general welfare. Still, in other cases, one parent may be physically, verbally or emotionally abusive. Such a parent is unlikely to change simply because the marriage is ending.
The point is, the facts of each custody case must be thoroughly explored. Your child deserves as much. It can be a major mistake to agree to an inappropriate custody order simply to get the case over. It is not always easy to change things in the future. In the appropriate circumstances, it is important to stand up a fight for your child..
Parenting time, or when the children will be in the care of each parent, is just as important as custody. There are a wide range of alternatives for parenting time, from supervised access to a 50/50 arrangement. Holiday and vacation time also must be divided.
The appropriate parenting time schedule is different in every case, just as the parent’s and the children’s needs are different in every case. Your child deserves to have a parenting time schedule that is tailored to his or her needs.
Although custody and parenting time are two of the most important issues in your life, it is important to remember that your children are not pawns in a battle against your spouse. Every effort should be made to explore all options, and to use experts (child psychologists) when necessary. The children’s welfare, not the parents’ desires, is what is important.
However, you cannot be afraid to fight in court when your spouse is a danger to your children’s welfare.
R D SMITH LAW, Roger D. Smith, Attorney, has 35 years experience in litigating cases. When it comes to a fight, experience counts.
Contact our office at 480-443-7600 to arrange your personal consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.