How to Choose the Right Child Custody Attorney
Child custody is a serious legal matter and should be addressed by an experienced attorney. A child custody case can be complex and emotionally draining. Hiring an experienced lawyer early on can help you stay focused on what is important and protect your parental rights. A lawyer can also help you make sure that all legal requirements are met.
Custody laws vary from state to state, but all family courts are required to consider what is in the best interests of the child when making a custody decision. The judge may ask both parents for their opinions on what the child’s best interests are. The judge will then decide which parent should have physical and/or legal custody of the child. Generally, judges prefer that children spend equal time with each parent and want both parents to participate in their lives. This does not necessarily mean equal time though. For example, spending an hour cheering your child on at their ballgame is probably worth more to a judge than sitting in the same room playing a video game with them for a couple hours.
If both parties can reach an agreement on a child custody arrangement, the court will not need to hear testimony from either parent or child and may enter the agreement into the records without going through a formal hearing. However, if the parents disagree about what is in their child’s best interests, the court will hold a hearing and may require both parties to submit evidence. The court may also require a forensic expert to interview the child, parents and other significant people in the child’s life and report back to the court.
The court will also look at the health and habits of both parents, their ability to care for a child, their living arrangements (new romantic partners, suitable housing, environmental concerns), and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse. The child’s own desires may be considered, depending on the age of the child and the specific circumstances of the case.
Both parents can also seek a modification of their current custody agreement. To do so, they must show a substantial change in circumstances that affects the child’s well-being. Examples of this include a parent moving out of the area, suffering from an illness that affects their parenting abilities or exposing their child to unsafe conditions, or a change in work circumstances that requires rescheduling visitation.
John Sholly Attorneys at Law has been providing legal assistance to clients in Knoxville since 2013. Their firm assists families with divorce, child support, co-parenting agreements and paternity actions. The team of attorneys has extensive experience navigating the legal system, helping clients through complicated situations and ensuring their parental rights are protected. Contact the firm for a consultation. The lawyer will listen to your needs and discuss what options are available for you. If necessary, they will prepare and file the appropriate paperwork and attend your court hearings. Click here to contact the #1 Family Law Attorney in Knoxville, TN.Read More