Child Custody and Visitation Lawyers

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Establishing Child Custody and Visitation

Establishing child custody and visitation arrangements in a divorce or other separation are often the most difficult challenges parents must face. Courts deciding child custody and visitation matters will always make a decision based on the best interests of the child.

What Does "Best Interests of the Child" Mean?

Determining what the best interests of a child are depends upon many factors, including the:

Different Types of Custody Arrangements

There are two types of child custody:

Courts will award legal and physical custody of a child to either one parent (sole custody) or both parents (joint custody). 

How Child Custody and Visitation is Established 

Formal child custody and visitation arrangements are establish in one of two ways:

Child Visitation Rights

The parent who does not have physical custody of the child is usually given "reasonable visitation" rights with the child. Visitation rights allow the non-custodial parent (the person without child custody) time to spend with their child. Child visitation schedules can be set either by the court or left to the parents to agree upon.

Modification of Child Custody and Visitation Arrangements

Child custody and visitation agreements can be modified with the consent of both parents or by the Court. Anything can be changed as long as it is consistent with the best interests of the child. Typical justifications for an alteration in child custody or visitation are:

Generally family courts prefer not to alter visitation arrangements as these can cause new problems, but if a proper justification arises modifications can be granted.

Do I Need a Family Attorney Experienced in Child Custody and Visitation?

If you are looking to establish or modify child custody or visitation, it is generally wise to consult with an attorney. A lawyer has experience dealing with the complicated court system and can work to protect your relationship with the child. See these articles for additional information about Child Custody Laws and Child Custody Guidelines.

Vea esta página en español: Custodia y Visitación de Niños/Menores o visita para más información legal.

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Last Modified: 04-07-2014 10:13 AM PDT

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