Suffolk County Child Support Lawyer
Child custody is a common issue for parents who have divorced. It is also a very sensitive one as is always the case when children are concerned.
If you’re going through a divorce or contemplating it, then you are better off informed on how child custody works and the issues and laws surrounding it.
However, there are several other scenarios apart from divorce where child custody or support issues may arise:
• Paternity issues
• Termination of parental rights
• Juvenile delinquency
The Laws Governing Child Custody
Child custody laws dictate the terms of living arrangement, child support and visitation rights in the event of divorce or any of the circumstances listed above.
One parent can be awarded physical and legal custody of the children with the other parent gaining visitation rights. Legal custody involves decisions about the child’s education, health, and religious affiliation.
In other cases, the two parents are given joint custody of their children. In this case, they are both afforded an equal amount of time with the children. This requires cooperation between parents and having a lawyer helps make this arrangement easier.
There is also the issue of split custody where different children go with different families. This is rare and not usually ideal as it is disruptive to the children.
Another scenario that could arise is when parents to a child are not married. In such a case, a large number of states will automatically give the mother custody. If the father contests this, a legal battle can ensue between the two parties and the court will award custody according to their judgment of the case.
Courts consider several things when awarding custody:
•Stable home environment
•What the child prefers, their age, sex, and adjustment to school and community.
•Religious and cultural considerations.
•The physical and mental health of the child.
•Any drug or alcohol abuse of the parents.
Parents may choose to work out the agreements on their own without the help of lawyers. In most cases, however, it is advisable that lawyers are present from the beginning for a number of reasons.
Reasons Why an Attorney Should be Present from the Beginning
Child support lawyers are mostly concerned with the child and how they will be raised. As such, they consider financial stability of the primary custodial parent. Divorce affects the financial status of the parents involved. The work of a child support lawyer is to ensure that the children are not affected by this changed financial status.
2. Working out the terms
Child custody cases require that the child is placed in the most suitable home environment. Although one parent will get primary custody, the other has a right to regular visitation because the children need both their parents. In the most extenuating of circumstances, however, the parent can be excluded from seeing their child/children.
3. To sort out complexities in child custody
Some of the complexities that may arise include having a child who has an emotional or physical issue that the legal system should know of. In this case, the lawyer is able to articulate this to judges in court.
Additionally, child support lawyers understand different complex issues that might come up and the provisions of law in such situations. They are better placed to handle them if and when they arise.