The thing that scares moms the most is worrying about what’s going to happen to their children. What if I end up with less time than I have now? Will I still be able to be the kind of mom I want to be? Will all this change have a negative impact on their mental and physical health and well being? What more can I do to protect them?
It’s mostly the feeling of powerlessness that makes moms lie awake at night, worrying about what the future will bring. But, with a dedicated custody attorney on your side, you can be sure that your priorities, and the best interests of your child, will be taken into account.
There are a lot of options available to moms facing custody cases, and we’ll work with you to come up with an arrangement that takes your schedule, work obligations, and other responsibilities into account.
Legal custody is usually awarded jointly, and refers to the right of parents to make three types of decisions on behalf of the child: (1) non-emergency medical care, (2) religious upbringing, and (3) education.
Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the child spends most of his or her time. You can have primary physical custody, shared physical custody, or split physical custody.
Primary physical custody is when the non custodial parent (the parent who has the child less) has 89 or fewer days with the child during the year. One parent has primary physical custody, and the other parent has visitation.
Shared physical custody is when the non custodial parent has 90 or more days with the child during the year. Shared physical custody also comes with a reduction in child support, because the parent with less time is spending more time with the child than in a traditional primary physical custody scenario. Presumably, in that extended time, the child’s other parent is paying for more meals, clothes, fun things to do together, and whatever else the child might need. For this reason, lots of dads want shared custody–even if they aren’t really planning on actually providing more support to the child during their parenting time.
These days, many judges, too, are supportive of shared physical custody situations, believing that it is beneficial to a child to have two involved parents. Though this view may not necessarily be wrong in many cases, it isn’t automatically the right decision to make. Having an attorney on your side when you walk into the courtroom can help ensure that the judge is informed when he makes a custody determination.
Split physical custody is rare, but it happens when one parent takes one child, and the other parent takes the other child. This isn’t normally ordered by the judge; usually, it’s a decision that the parents reach because they believe it’s in their children’s best interests.
Many unique issues can affect custody cases, so it’s important that you do your research and hire an attorney with experience handling the particular issue that you’re facing. Whether you’re a breastfeeding mom wondering what to do if your child’s father asks for overnight visits, a stay-at-home mom committed to providing homeschooling education for your children, a mom with a child with special needs, a mom trying to come to grips with the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or her child, a mom hoping to move forward with a stepparent adoption, a mom facing modification of an already existing custody, visitation, or support order, you’re not alone. You’ve come to the right place, and there’s a solution out there that will help you be the kind of mom you want to be. We can help you create a custodial relationship that takes your preferences and your children’s best interests to heart.