Custody Battles: How Your Attorney Can Help You Succeed
The end of a marriage or a relationship is often hard on both parties. Breakups are difficult and painful, and things get even more complicated when there are children involved. Some parents are able to agree on who will have custody of the children and may have an idea regarding the visitation schedule. Unfortunately, some parents are less cooperative and cannot agree on custody, which results in custody battles. This is a situation where you will need the help of Garden City divorce attorneys to ensure the best outcome for you and your children.
What are Custody Battles?
A custody battle is a legal fight between parents who have broken up, are divorced, or are in the process of getting divorced. When the parents cannot agree on who will get primary custody of the children, a custody battle begins. If you believe that you and your ex won’t be able to reach an agreement regarding child custody, you will need to hire a family lawyer Garden City NY. There are several ways a lawyer can help fight for your rights and help you win your custody battles.
1) Inform You Of Your Parental Rights
Most people don’t know much about family law, but once you enter a custody dispute it is important to become informed. A divorce lawyer can help you understand your rights as a parent. They can also help you understand relevant terminology, such as the difference between physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about a child’s care, including things like medical decisions or religious upbringing. Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make major decisions about the child and must do so together. Physical custody refers to the responsibility for the actual physical care and supervision of the child. Joint physical custody means that the child lives with each parent for an equal amount of time. Understanding your rights and custody options can help you better decide how you want to proceed with the custody battle and develop a proper legal strategy.
2) Develop a Legal Strategy
When deciding custody cases, family court makes its decisions based on the best interest of the child involved. The best interests of the child refers to the factors that the Judge considers when deciding what will best serve the child and who is best suited to take care of the child. The attorneys at Fass & Greenberg can help you to create a legal strategy to prove that living with you is what is in your child’s best interest.
Your lawyers will use evidence such as your home environment, your schedule, your children’s school schedules, proof of the strong emotional bond between you and your children, how much time you spend with your children, and, if possible, the wishes of your older children. They will also use any relevant evidence against your ex in hopes of proving that living with you will be best for your children.
3) Coordination With Outside Professionals
Custody battles can get nasty, particularly when parents begin to accuse one another of mistreating the children, substance abuse, or neglect. If your custody battle seems to be heading in this direction, Garden City lawyers can coordinate with outside professionals who can help.
Your lawyer can request that the court appoint an Attorney for the Children (“AFC”). They are lawyers appointed by the court to represent the children. It is their job to investigate the circumstances in your home and your ex’s, and to interview the children. The AFC’s sole purpose is to advocate for the children, but in certain circumstances, they will be required to substitute their judgement for the children if they determine that a child is incapable of advocating for him or herself. Your lawyer can also get a child psychologist on board to talk to your children and testify on your behalf. They might also hire a private investigator to help prove any allegations against your ex. Coordinating with outside professionals is an essential component to succeeding in your case.
4) Present Evidence In Court
Most judges will send parents to mediation before the custody case goes to court. This gives the parents a chance to agree on the custody arrangements on their own. If mediation doesn’t work, the case will go before a judge, and you will need a lawyer concentrating in family law to present your case. Obtaining an experienced attorney gives you the best chance of success. There are court procedures and rules of evidence that must be followed and that an experienced attorney will know how to navigate. Your lawyer will present your case using the evidence gathered to convince the judge to rule in your favor. A lawyer will also cross-examine witnesses presented by your ex in hopes of negating any claims against you and proving that living with you is in the best interests of the children.
If you are getting a divorce and you and your ex cannot agree on the custody arrangements for your children, contact Fass & Greenberg. Our lawyers are experts in family law and will work hard to get the judge to rule in your favor. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call today.