If you are in the process of divorce or have been in a relationship and want to make sure that you and your former partner know the expectations that come with parenting, a child custody lawyer is a wise solution. This type of attorney can offer significant assistance to ensure that your children are taken care of in a way that meets their needs. Custody arrangements also take your lifestyle and career into consideration, so that the process of separation can be a little easier.
When you and your former spouse or partner meet with a child custody lawyer, you will likely be asked about the way your household was set up before the separation. If one parent did the majority of the hands-on child care, this parent will likely continue this role after the divorce. If one parent provided more of the financial care for the children, this parent will probably remain in this role following the separation. The lawyer may also bring a mediator in to make sure that each parent can perform his/her duties in a way that supports the well-being of the children.
Mediation is also necessary if one or both parents have made lifestyle choices that compromises the safety of the children. For instance, if one parent was the primary caretaker but has struggled with drug or alcohol addiction in the past, the parent may be evaluated and required to go to counseling. The parent may not be awarded custody again until they can be trusted to properly tend to children and to be attentive in a way that is appropriate for the child’s age. Meditation through a child custody lawyer is also necessary if the parent who is providing the majority of the financial contribution has a change in income. If a parent loses a job or even starts making more money, this will be taken into consideration when it comes to the legal obligation the parent has to care for his/her children.
There are also some instances in which both parents are tending to the children and providing for the children financially at an equal or nearly equal rate. In this case, joint custody is likely the solution. This often means that the children will spend equal time at each parent’s home, and mediation could be necessary to figure out which holidays the children will spend at a parent’s home. The children’s way of life is considered in these situations as well. If the children are currently attending school in one part of town and one parent moves out of the home, the parent who remains in the original family home may be awarded primary custody, and the remaining parent may get weekend visits. The parent who no longer lives in the home may also be required to care for the children during the summer or extended breaks from school.
Every family’s situation is different, which is why a child custody lawyer is necessary in many instances. It is best for families to contact an attorney right away so that the lawyer can work with the family throughout the entire custody process to come up with a solution that works for everyone involved.