Creating the right child custody order for your children is critical to protecting their best interests. A child custody order can address many issues. These issues are both big and small, but they are all important for your children. You may need to create a child custody order in order to establish a set schedule for parenting time. You may need to modify an existing child custody order that’s already in place.
The court can enter a custody order when parents are unmarried or when married parents separate and divorce. The court oversees custody, parenting time and child support until the child is 18 years old. The parties are free to make agreements regarding custody, and the courts generally uphold these agreements as long as they agree that they’re in the child’s best interests. If you don’t agree with the other party, the court listens to the evidence and makes a decision.
When the court hears a custody case, they decide how to award legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody is who has physical control of the child and who is responsible for the child’s care at any given point in time. In some cases, it may be appropriate to award one parent most of the time with the child. In other cases, it may be best for the child for the parents to share physical custody roughly equally.
Within a custody decision, the court also creates a parenting time schedule. The court determines how transitions in parenting time should work. The court determines when each parent should exercise parenting time. If a parent needs restrictions like supervision or special rules because of a unique situation, all of these special situations can be addressed in the custody and parenting time order.
Legal custody is who has the right to make decisions about the child. It also controls who has the right to access important information about the child such as school records and medical information. When parents have joint legal custody, they must agree on major decisions for the child.
In most cases, the court awards legal custody to both parents. However, in some cases, it’s best for a child to have only one parent make major decisions and have access to information. You can work with your Brooklyn child custody attorneys to determine what the court is likely to do in your case and how to best present the evidence to advocate for your position.
When the court decides custody, it looks at the entire circumstances surrounding the children. There’s a presumption that children should be raised by their parents unless it’s a unique situation. The court looks at the totality of the circumstances, but it’s not like going through a checklist and adding up the total. The court may give more or less weight to each issue depending on how important it is by comparison. The court looks at things like who the primary care provider has been up until now, who is more capable of providing the children with safety and guidance and whether there is domestic violence or abuse present in any relationship.
When the court decides child custody, the court allows the parties to admit evidence. It’s up to you to work with your Brooklyn child custody attorneys in order to gather the evidence that you want to present. You may testify in your case and call the other party to testify. You may call witnesses such as counselors, teachers and family friends.
In some cases, you may ask the court to order that the other party receive a substance abuse evaluation or a mental health examination. Emails, photographs, videos and certified records can serve as valuable pieces of evidence. You present the evidence to the court along with arguments about why the evidence supports what you’re asking the court to do in the case.
Our team of Brooklyn child custody attorneys can help you evaluate your case from every angle. We can help you examine your case to determine a strategy to achieve the best possible result in court. From preparing legal pleadings to gathering evidence to presenting your case in court, at each stage, we offer you skilled and compassionate representation to help you and your children in the best way possible.
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