A Beginner’s Guide To Child Custody
In most cases, child custody battles are bitter with each parent trying to prove that he or she is more suitable to raise a child and have majority timesharing. Often, neither party is willing to compromise to reach an agreement. In the rare occasion when there is a substantial change of circumstances which merits a modification, which is granted, then a child's living situation can be disrupted.
At The Quattro Firm, L.L.C., we understand how challenging and emotional child custody can be, and we want to offer our expert legal services to protect your child's interests thoroughly. Through this guide, we will take you through the process of filing and securing timesharing and support order.
Manage your finances: The first step is to organize all your finances. You will need the precise costs of the extracurricular activities of your child, school, after care and/or camp costs as well as housing and other expenditures. One will also need to separate his/her finances clearly to allow for the difference in personal expenses vs. the expenses of the child.
One should be prepared to be flexible and compromise to allow for the needs and wants of the other parent.
Get professional assistance: While it is possible to file for custody or for a modification on your own, having an attorney guide you through the process will take some stress off you. The attorney will understand the complicated child support guidelines and how they work as well as the law governing such support and the applicable statutes to your individual circumstances.
Additionally, timesharing, majority timesharing, custody and parental responsibility are legal terms which can be confusing. A client is far better represented with an experienced attorney who can assist him/her in navigating these terms and their application to the individual's case.
Work with the right professional: An attorney will not only determine the most appropriate child custody arrangement but ensures the entire process is carried out smoothly.
There will be many changes that take place in the lifetime of a child, but if you have an attorney who plans things correctly from the outset, there will be no court interference or need to modify child custody in court, barring a substantial change in circumstances.
Even if an attorney is hired during a modification, it can be difficult to undo improper drafting or planning in the initial order. It is far easier to obtain a properly executed and well drafted order at the outset than to undue drafting mistakes in a modification.
Work out an arrangement that will suit your child's best interests: You may dislike your spouse, but your child does not. Don't punish the other parent in such a way that it hurts your child. A child is best cared for by two loving parents who can think of the child first instead of the anger or resentment that you may have for the other parent.
Advice From The Pros
Do not worry about child support: A common mistake people make is thinking about the child support and its end date. While child support may end upon graduation from high school, both parents will be around for the entire life of the child. There will be graduations, weddings and many other obligations which will require you to see the other parent and coordinate with them for the best interest of your child.
Be patient: Once the above steps have been followed, you should proceed through the court process with patience. After an order is secured, make the necessary arrangements to put the child support and timesharing in place. It is also advisable to update any estate plans at such time.
At The Quattro Firm, L.L.C., our goal is to help ease you through a child custody case with as little stress as possible. As a trusted law firm in West Palm Beach, FL, we can understand all the needs of our clients, not just their legal needs. We specialize in family law, divorce law, civil litigation, estate planning, and many more areas.