Dover Child Custody Lawyer

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Dover Child Custody & Visitation Attorney

A child custody determination is a family court case in which parents settle parental rights and parenting time with their children through a formalized court order. Unmarried parents may need a custody order if they decide not to raise their children together, and divorcing parents will need to resolve child custody as an element of their divorce. A Dover child custody lawyer is the ideal asset for anyone facing this type of situation.

Legal Counsel for Child Custody Cases in Dover, MA

The team at Farias Family Law, P.C., aims to demystify the legal issues you are likely to encounter as you resolve a custody order with your co-parent in Dover. Our firm has years of experience helping our clients through difficult divorce and child custody cases, and we are ready to put this experience to work for you. We know the emotional strain that a custody determination imposes on a parent and want to provide support and reassurance during this difficult process.

We Take a Client-Centered Approach to Divorce

Our team leverages the latest technology and takes a client-centered approach to family law counsel in Dover and surrounding communities. Even if you think you can make a compelling case for the custody rights you hope to obtain and believe you can reach a positive outcome to your case, it’s vital to have legal counsel on your side as any child custody determination can raise unexpected issues you will not know how to resolve alone.

Understanding Custody Determinations

The main concern in any child custody determination is the best interests of the children the custody order will affect. Whether you are settling a child custody case as a standalone issue or as an element of a larger divorce case, it is vital to understand what a custody order involves, how custody is determined, and the value of having an experienced Dover child custody lawyer on your side helping you make the strongest possible case for custody rights.

In Massachusetts, a family court judge must assign custody rights for a child based on a careful review of multiple factors, such as:

  • Each parent’s age, medical status, mental acuity, and overall fitness to handle parental responsibilities.
  • The criminal history of each parent. A judge is less likely to award expansive custody rights to any parent who has a history of felony conviction, drug or alcohol abuse, or a history of any type of domestic violence.
  • The income of each parent. Child support determination is an important element of any custody order. The noncustodial parent will be required to pay child support to the custodial parent to meet their financial obligations for raising their kids.
  • The work schedule of each parent and their availability to handle a child’s day-to-day schedule.
  • The living arrangements each parent can provide to their child if they are seeking physical custody. The judge will also look at a child’s potential residence and their proximity to the child’s school, doctor, and extended family members.
  • The child’s bond with each parent. A judge will likely want to hear from the child personally about their preferences if they are old enough to convey their feelings.
  • Each parent’s parenting plan for their child. The judge will want to learn each parent’s philosophy regarding childcare and how they intend to run their households to encourage a safe and supportive upbringing for the child.

It’s possible for additional elements to come into play based on the unique details of a case. Your Dover child custody lawyer can help gather any documentation you will need to submit to the court and assist you in drafting the most compelling possible argument for custody rights.

What Does a Custody Order Include in Dover?

There are two primary elements to every custody order issued: physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions on a child’s behalf, and physical custody pertains to the child’s residence and where they spend their time. Most custody orders issued involve some type of arrangement of joint physical custody and evenly shared legal custody.

If a parent is deemed unfit, they may be unable to obtain legal custody, meaning the custodial parent will have the sole right to make major decisions for the child. When parents share physical custody, it’s common for the child to spend more time with one parent than the other as the parents’ respective work schedules and availability dictate. When legal custody is shared, parents must collaborate and communicate with one another before making major decisions.

In a joint physical custody agreement, parents must abide by the terms of the order to the letter. If an emergency or other unexpected issue prevents a parent from adhering to a physical custody schedule, they must notify the other parent. Most such issues can be resolved as necessary by agreement, but if a parent makes a habit of violating the terms of their custody order, it can lead to penalties and modification of the custody order.

Secure Trustworthy Legal Representation

It is vital to remember that a family court judge may not see things your way, and it is possible for any child custody order to escalate into an emotionally charged legal battle. Having an experienced Dover child custody lawyer on your side makes it easier to maintain composure and approach the situation focused on your child’s best interests rather than their preferences.

One of the biggest mistakes parents make in custody cases is letting their negative feelings toward co-parents overtake their judgment when it comes to making decisions for their children. Approaching your case with confidence is easier with a Dover child custody lawyer representing you. Farias Family Law, P.C., can work closely with you, providing compassionate legal counsel through all stages of your case and helping you reach the terms you hope to secure.

Contact the Farias Law Firm, P.C., today to make an appointment for an assessment with our team and learn more about the legal services we can offer for your impending child custody determination.

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