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Child custody attorneys are a crucial resource that you should use if you’re going through a divorce or other child custody arrangement. Your attorney will help negotiate with the other party to come to an agreeable arrangement – something that is beneficial for both parents, but for the children, most of all.

Your child custody lawyer acts as your representative, making sure that the court receives all your information and considers all the factors that should go into making the best decisions for your child’s custody schedule and arrangements.

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When do I need a child custody attorney?

The first time you set up an arrangement

Any time you’re negotiating your time, access, and responsibilities to your child (or children), you may want to consult with an attorney about your rights and options.

When you first become separated from your child’s other parent, or as soon as you can when you are ready to set up a custody arrangement for your children, contact a child custody attorney. Getting the documentation in place the first time can be the most difficult, and an attorney can be invaluable in helping you through the process.

Changes to your existing child custody arrangements

As your children grow and your family’s needs and circumstances change, you may need to occasionally made changes (“amendments”) to your custody arrangements. Depending on your situation, you may or may not need to consult an attorney when amending your existing child custody arrangements.

If your children have special needs:

Due to the complex nature of caring for disabled children or children with special needs, we always recommend speaking with an attorney when you’re implementing or making changes to your child custody agreements. for special needs children  

What does a child custody lawyer do?

Your attorney will help you present your case to the court, to make sure that all details are included and your information is taken into consideration fairly when making important decisions about your children’s living situation, health and wellbeing, and monetary allowances.

How can a child custody lawyer help me?

Your child custody lawyer will help you with issues of:

  • Guardianship and parental rights, such as questions about legal rights to purchase or sell assets in the children’s names or questions of power of attorney.
  • Health and wellness such as ensuring the children’s access to medical, dental and vision care, health insurance, and ongoing medical services needed.
  • Residence and visitation questions, such as determining how many days the children will spend with each parent each month, and assisting with scheduling arrangements.
  • Supervised visitation issues. In some circumstances, children’s visitation with one parent or another may require supervision from a neutral third party, as determined by the court.
  • Financial obligation and planning strategies. Each parent has a legal obligation to provide for their children, to the extent they are individually capable. Additionally, parents may have financial investments set aside for their children’s medical needs, college funds, or other long-term savings goals. During child custody discussions, questions arise such as how should the investment be handled? By whom? And who should contribute to it in the future?

No two relationships are the same. No two sets of parents are identical. And no two children – even siblings – have the exact same needs. An attorney should help their clients sort through the details of their specific situation to come to an agreement that works for everyone.

Attorneys provide emotional objectivity

A divorce, or any relationship coming an end, can be one of the most emotional experiences of many adult lives. The process follows the same pattern as grieving for a death – and you know what they say – “you shouldn’t make any major life decisions while grieving.” But, you have to make decisions. You have these children who depend on you and who are precious to you. You need to make sure that your life can move forward.

So, a lot of what child custody attorneys do is provide the emotional support and objectivity to keep things moving. During the process, it can become easy for the people involved to get overwhelmed – but your attorney is there to keep things on track. Your attorney will keep you focused on the end goal – the goal of establishing a working child custody arrangement that is fair to your children, yourself, and their other parent.