Divorce is difficult for children; a protracted custody battle increases the pain of separation and divorce. Children can feel like pawns in the battle between their parents, and they often exit the process with anger and resentment. A quick and fair custody arrangement is necessary to protect your children from undue stress or heartache.
When it comes to custody, you have to address custody issues three times: during the divorce, after the divorce, and when the agreement is broken. William D. Schroeder, Jr., Attorney at Law, is the divorce lawyer Philadelphia parents trust to address their child custody issues; he can help you secure a smooth and equitable custody arrangement, while defending your rights after the settlement.
During The Divorce
Typically, the courts prefer parents to negotiate the custody arrangement on their own terms, but the court will step in if an agreement is impossible. As you craft your agreement with your Philadelphia divorce lawyer, you must consider three levels of custody.
- Sole—In this instance, one parent maintains the sole legal custody of the child, and may make all decisions regarding the child’s health, education and welfare.
- Joint—A joint custody arrangement may include any number of divisions of the child’s time between both parents. Common arrangements include weeknights at one parent’s home, and weekends at the other’s.
- Split—When two or more children are involved, the court may award custody of a child to each parent, and that parent assumes primary custody of the child in his or her care.
You will also need your divorce lawyer to negotiate the terms of your child support payments, whether you are to pay or receive. A mistake in this area of the arrangement can destroy your financial future and make it very difficult to start over after your divorce.
After The Divorce
Custody issues continue even when the divorce is final. Over time, the financial situation of one party or another may change, which will necessitate a revision of the child support documents. Equally as common are fights over where the children will live. The courts require the custodial parent to provide reasonable access to the children for the non-custodial parent to visit, if visitation is included in the custody agreement. Your divorce lawyer in Philadelphia may be your only defense to keep your ex-spouse from moving your kids to another state.
In extreme cases, violations of the custody agreement can only be solved through the courts. Violations of the agreement vary significantly from case to case. Sometimes custodial parents block access to the children or deny visitation rights. In other cases, the custodial parent will attempt to poison the mind of the child against the non-custodial parent in an attempt to get the child to refuse to go visit. These violations are considered interference with your parental rights, and are grounds for the re-evaluation of your custody arrangement with the courts. Your divorce lawyer will help you craft your case, gather evidence and file your motions in the court to win back your rights and maintain open access to your children.
Protect your children during and after your divorce with the divorce lawyer Philadelphia parents trust. Contact William D. Schroeder, Jr., Attorney at Law, to discuss the specifics of your case today.