Child custody is often one of the most important issues in many divorce and paternity cases. Custody issues are also extremely emotional and can be the most fiercely litigated topic in any family law matter.
The first question is whether the parents will share joint legal custody with one another or whether one parent will receive sole legal custody of the minor children. Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions regarding the children, not how much time the parents spend with the children.
Custody decisions must be determined to be in the best interests of the children involved. There are eleven factors that must be considered in determining whether a custody award is in the best interests of the children:
1. The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to custody.
2. The wishes of the child as to the custodian.
3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.
4. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.
5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent. This paragraph does not apply if the court determines that a parent is acting in good faith to protect the child from witnessing an act of domestic violence or being a victim of domestic violence or child abuse.
7. Whether one parent, both parents or neither parent has provided primary care of the child.
8. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding custody.
9. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.
10. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under section 13-2907.02.
11. Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse as defined in section 25-403.03.
If the parents can agree upon the legal custody award, Leavell & Rivera, P.L.C. can draft the appropriate documents, ensuring that the all of the necessary terms are in the agreement.
If the parents cannot agree upon the legal custody award, Leavell & Rivera, P.L.C. will aggressively represent you in the custody trial, ensuring that your rights are respected and heard. Leavell & Rivera, P.L.C. has successfully represented a numerous clients, both Mothers and Fathers, in their custody trials.
If you are interested in having Leavell & Rivera, P.L.C., assist you with your custody matter, call or contact us below.