Barrington Child Custody Attorneys
In any divorce where children are present, ensuring they have the care and support of their parents is the most crucial issue. When parents separate or divorce, child custody rights can be incorporated into the divorce decree. When parents are unmarried, paternity must first be established before parenting time can be decided.
At Manassa Hartman, P.C., the best interest of your child is our primary concern. We are dedicated to helping parents have a healthy relationship with their children. Our experienced and accomplished attorneys can help you resolve your custody matters in a way that protects your children and preserves your parental rights.
Our lawyers provide divorcing or separated parents with sound legal advice and skilled representation. Our lawyers will clarify the legal issues surrounding residential custody arrangements, including joint custody and sole custody.
Different Types of Custody
Physical and Legal Custody
Physical custody is awarded to the one parent with whom the child will live with the majority of the time. Legal custody is shared with the parent who has physical custody of the child. For this type of custody, both parents make decisions regarding:
- the child's education
- health care
- financial decisions
What Is Joint Custody?
This arrangement requires the parties to agree that they can co-parent with each other to make major decisions and the court must find that it is in the best interest of the children.
What Is Sole Custody?
Sole custody gives one parent full decision-making power concerning the medical, educational and religious issues for the children.
How Child Custody Disagreements Are Resolved
Child custody disagreements and visitation rights can be resolved one of two ways:
- Mediation, collaborative law, and negotiation: Parents can come to an agreement on the custody and visitation rights by themselves or with the help of an attorney.
- Family court: A family court judge makes the final decision on child custody and visitation rights based on the facts presented and the best interest of the child.
Factors That Can Determine Child Custody
Sometimes the best interest of the child can be difficult to determine. Therefore, courts use several factors to determine who should have physical custody. One of the main factors is which parent is the child's "primary caretaker" (the person who does the majority of meal planning and prepping, purchases clothes and does laundry, bathes or grooms the child, and fosters the participation in sports or extracurricular activities). Other factors that help determine child custody include:
- wishes of the child (if the child is old enough to express preference)
- religion or cultural considerations
- age and sex of the child
- mental and physical health of the parents
- adjustment to the child's school or community
We Find Custody Arrangements That Meet Your Needs
While the best interest of the child is the ultimate standard that must be met for any custody arrangement to be approved by the courts, parents have the opportunity to negotiate creative arrangements that meet the needs of all parties.
Maintaining an amicable relationship with your former partner will help facilitate agreements. When feasible, this will be our goal. Our attorneys are also accomplished, skilled litigators should the need arise.
Contact Manassa Hartman, P.C.
We have the experience and ability to successfully manage the most complex custody cases and look forward to helping you arrive at a result that protects your rights and meets the needs of your children.
Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Barrington child custody attorneys.
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