Your child’s safety, comfort and well-being come first.
That’s a promise – I’m determined to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your child.
If you and your child’s other parent are unmarried, divorcing or divorced, child custody and/or parenting plans may apply to you. In these situations, there are many important questions that come up:
- How can I get custody of my child?
- What about my child’s health insurance?
- What would happen if a parent didn’t follow the custody schedule?
- What if I later decide this plan isn’t best for my child?
The first thing to know is there are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody determines which parent should be making major parenting decisions, like whether your child should go to a private or public school, or if he or she should have surgery. Physical custody is exactly as it sounds, determining which parent has your child living with him or her.
If you and the other parent are on the same page, the most common solution is joint legal custody – where both of you are entitled to important decisions, and a parenting plan is devised to schedule the child’s physical time with each parent.
Guardian Ad Litem
In some cases, particularly those involving abuse or neglect but also cases in which parents disagree on a major issue involving the child, the court may appoint a lawyer whose sole job is to represent the interests of the children. This lawyer is called a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). The GAL’s job is to talk with the children, the parents and the lawyers, and to advise the judge about his or her opinion regarding the children’s issues. In cases in which there is an allegation of abuse or neglect of a child, the court must appoint a Guardian Ad Litem. In any case in which a GAL is appointed, I’m prepared to represent you and do everything I can to keep your family together.
Please, contact me if you are in need of help or have questions, and I will walk you through the child custody process in a way that makes sense and is relevant to your specific situation. And for now, take a deep breath. The court will ultimately award custody based on what is best for your child, while taking your wishes into consideration.