Divorcing the parent of your child, and the person you may have spent a significant amount of time with, might provoke an overwhelming amount of emotions. When young children are involved, the situation can intensify – especially if both parents do not agree on custody matters. Child custody lawyers, like a child custody lawyer in Arlington, TX, work hard to help everyone involved come to an agreement that is amicable, practical, and as fair as possible. Child custody lawyers often assist parents in developing parenting agreements, time sharing plans, and dispute resolution agreements. In some cases — particularly when a serious matter is involved — lawyers may seek protective orders, restraints, or emergency court requests on behalf of a child who might be endangered. Keep in mind that if your spouse has already hired a child custody lawyer, and you are not willing to give into his or her wishes, you should hire a child custody lawyer of your own.
Understanding the State Laws
All states have their own child custody laws, and while many are similar, they are not the same. In general, there are two different types of custody laws: physical custody and legal custody.
- Physical Custody: Refers to the location where the child will live and with whom.
- Legal Custody: Regards whom will have the responsibility of making decisions on behalf of the child.
As a child custody lawyer might explain to you, a case tends to go smoother when both parents can put their differences aside and develop a parenting agreement. This is often possible through mediation with each party and their child custody lawyers. In the event of an agreement not being able to be met, or on the other hand, is not approved by the court, various factors may need to be considered, including:
- The living environment of each parent
- Whether one parent is, or has been, the primary caretaker
- The child’s wishes (when of a certain age)
- The age of the child
- The health of each parent
- The ability for each parent to spend time with the child
- The ability to provide for the child’s needs
- Whether or abuse or violence has taken place
A respected child custody lawyer will be able to help you and your ex-spouse to confront the serious matter of your children and their well-being, and reach an agreement that will suit all parties involved.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into hiring a child custody attorney.