How Custody Battles Work

This office of custody attorneys encourages parties to share “legal” custody. Both parents should have meaningful input on important decisions affecting their children, such as health care, education, religious upbringing (or other alternatives), and activities. Parents do not “score” by denying access to a child, or ignoring input regarding the child, to “get back” or “teach a lesson to” the other party. Such selfish behavior on the part of parents not only harms the child, but often causes the court to consider substantial changes of custody rights, including legal.

“Physical” custody refers to the home—the “primary residence”—for the child. Either parent may be awarded “physical” custody, but the non-custodial parent would then likely be awarded at least the statutory minimum for parent time.

Courts, the Legislature, and yours truly do not favor the older term of “visitation”. A parent should not have a relationship with these important small persons called “children” based on “visitation”. Parent time should reinforce the permanent and unique relationship that exists with none other than a father and child, or a mother and child.

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Custody lawyers advise that parents should not look at a physical custody award as a “win” or a “loss”. Courts consider what is best for the children, which may not necessarily be what Dad or Mom think is best for Dad or Mom. I have seen courts award the marital home to the children, so they won’t have to uproot, and tell the contentious parents that they may “visit” their children at home whenever they want to. A final word here: Courts have seen it all, and so have most family law attorneys. Beware trying to “outsmart” the Court by pretending you didn’t get communications, or of conjuring up phony incidents. As in most areas of life, except perhaps for Wall Street and television political commentators, honesty and civility go a long way, and usually win out in the end.