Child Custody and Visitation

The care and upbringing of children following divorce is often an ongoing source of conflict for children and parents, as divorced parents often have an array of issues they must resolve and come to terms over before starting the next chapter of their lives. Some of the many questions that come up in these situations are: Who gets the primary custody? How many days visitation are allowed? Will this fit into the child’s school schedule? How does that fit into the parents’ work schedules? Who will the child prefer to live with?

These are the types of questions that come up in custody hearings, and they also happen to be the types of questions that can prolong the conflict and increase tensions. With the help of a qualified child custody attorney, this “ongoing conflict” can be mitigated and you and your child (or children) can find stable ground.

Custody must address both physical custody and legal custody.  Physical custody typically involves allocating parental rights and responsibilities regarding the day-to-day care and activities of the children. The parent who is elected to have physical custody will be in charge of the child on a daily basis, and the child will often live with that parent.  Legal custody typically involves allocating the legal rights and responsibilities associated with the child’s upbringing. A parent with legal custody is typically in charge of deciding factors of the child’s life such as what school they will attend, religious upbringing, psychological counseling, and more. Joint legal custody is possible, as well, so long as the parents are willing to cooperate in such a manner.

Sometimes the parents agree to an arrangement; sometimes the court determines one for them.  In the past, courts routinely gave mothers physical custody and gave fathers visitation rights.  Today, more and more the courts have begun to allow children to reside with the father.  In general, the courts favor joint ongoing child-rearing responsibilities with the children.  The sharing of physical custody can take on an endless variety of plans or schedules, depending upon the needs of the children and/or parents.  The advice and assistance of a family law attorney can help parents to establish child custody and visitation agreements that focus on the interests of the children.

If you are currently in a situation where you are seeking divorce and children are involved, then give Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf a call and get advice from a child custody attorney with over 25 years of experience. Our reputation for success will help put you at ease and keep your life moving forward.

“When you need answers, we are here to help.”