Determining child custody is typically the most important (and often the most highly-contested) issue between parties in a divorce or parentage case.
It is important to understand that the term “custody” refers not only to physical possession of the child, but also to the parties’ respective abilities to make important decisions on matters affecting the child. Generally, when a parent is awarded “sole custody” of a child, that parent has the sole discretion to make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing. When parents are awarded joint custody, they generally must consult with each other prior to making major decisions involving the child’s education, health and religious upbringing, and are required to “co-parent” or make these major decisions together.
When parties are unable to agree on child custody issues, the court will assess what arrangement will further the “best interests of the child.” This assessment requires the court to consider numerous factors including the respective wishes of the child and the parents, the child’s adjustment to his/her current home, school and community, and the willingness of each parent to facilitate and encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. are experienced and skilled lawyers for child custody related issues. Our attorneys have a successful track record for both settling and litigating contentious custody and visitation matters and are focused on achieving our clients’ desired results while ensuring that such result is beneficial to the children involved.
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