Guidelines for Sharing Custody of Your Children from Child Custody Lawyers Rockville MD Offers
The Rockville, MD child custody lawyers from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright know that the idea of sharing custody with your ex-spouse might seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. While there might be some challenges in the beginning, it is possible to co-parent successfully with your ex. Our child custody lawyers in Rockville, MD from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright share some tips on how to share custody of your children:
Put Your Children First
In order for joint custody to work, you must always put your children first. Even if you and your ex-spouse get angry with each other, you should still make your kids your top priority. For example, if you get into a heated argument with your ex, make every effort to separate that from your interactions with your kids. Children can pick up on tension and unspoken words so this can be difficult, but our child custody lawyers in Rockville, MD understand its importance.
Stick to a Schedule
When sharing custody of your children, it is important to stick to a regular schedule. Consistency is good for your kids and routines are often calming for them. For example, you could agree to take care of your children on weekdays and have your ex look after them on weekends. Talk to our child custody lawyers in Rockville, MD who can help you and your ex work out an agreement or modify an existing agreement if it’s not working out.
Don’t Talk Badly About Your Ex In Front of Your Kids
One of the biggest mistakes parents make after a divorce is talking negatively about their ex-spouse in front of their children. If you do this, your kids may think they have to choose sides. If you are angry at your ex about something, don’t talk about your feelings in front of your children. If there are issues you’re experiencing such as delinquent child custody payments, contact our child custody lawyers in Rockville, MD.
How Should My Co-Parent and I Deal with School Breaks and Holidays?
There is no single “right way” to co-parent. As a result, there is no single “right way” to navigate school breaks and holidays as a co-parenting team. Some co-parents choose to split the duration of a break between them, while others trade off every other year. Some co-parents prefer to have family traditions progress in a way that a child is always with mom at Thanksgiving and dad on Independence Day. Still other co-parents prefer to keep their plans more relaxed so that whatever their broader family’s needs are at the time can be attended to without a great deal of predetermined structure. Trying to determine how your child’s breaks and holidays should be addressed in your parenting agreement can be overwhelming. Thankfully, speaking with experienced Rockville, MD child custody lawyers can be very helpful.
Considerations: Co-parenting at the Holidays
Whether you are constructing a parenting agreement from scratch or are contemplating a modification to your existing child custody order, your primary concern should be your child’s best interests. Child custody determinations are all made according to the “best interests of the child” standard, so it is important that your approach measures up. If you ever have any questions about what this standard means in practical terms, you can feel free to ask your Rockville, MD child custody lawyers. But to start, you should take some notes on your own regarding what kind of arrangement you believe in your gut would best serve your child’s best interests. That way, you have a starting point to work from and will be more likely to intuit what terms you are and are not willing to negotiate and where you are and are not willing to be flexible.
When thinking about vacation and break arrangements, also be sure to consider your child’s situation from all angles. If you and your co-parent need to work out legally binding details related to transportation, costs, communication, activities, etc. in advance, don’t hesitate to speak with your Rockville, MD child custody lawyers about how to do so in an effective and enforceable way.
How Should My Co-Parent and I Approach Disputes About the Holidays?
Holidays, special occasions, and breaks from school are usually highly anticipated periods of time for kids. However, they can be uniquely stressful periods of time for parents. Depending on a child’s age, family situation, and unique needs, a host of preparations and accommodations may need to be made in advance of any vacation or special occasion. This reality may be further complicated when a child’s parents no longer live together. Disputes about these periods of time may inflame already tense exchange between co-parents.
Avoiding Disputes When Possible
Ideally, co-parents may avoid disputes by being as proactive as possible. When constructing a child custody agreement and/or parenting plan, they can outline their expectations, priorities, and responsibilities related to special occasions. Details related to travel, religious observances, visiting with extended family, child care, financial issues, gift giving, and dates each parent will get to spend with the child may all be addressed in advance.
Similarly, if parents have not outlined details related to special occasions in their custody agreement and/or parenting plan, they may work with family law attorneys in order to outline these expectations in a binding way at virtually any time. Some co-parents benefit from mediation while others can simply work with their attorneys to negotiate and finalize terms. Knowing what to expect in advance can help to ensure that predictable disputes are generally avoided.
When Disputes Happen Anyway
Sometimes, disputes occur despite efforts to prevent them. There are various ways to deal with disputes when they occur. When possible and appropriate, it is generally a good idea to remain flexible. Few disputes are worth upsetting yourself and your child for any length of time. With that said, there are instances in which it makes sense to take action. If your co-parent is violating the terms of your custody or parenting agreement, it may benefit you to speak with your attorney. If your child’s needs or family situation has changed, it may make sense to seek a modification to existing orders. Exploring your options with our Maryland child custody lawyers when problems begin to impact your child’s best interests is generally a good idea.
Legal Support Is Available
If you have questions about child custody, parenting time, custody modifications, enforcement, or dispute resolution, please consider scheduling a consultation with our office. Once a lawyer better understands your family’s unique situation, he or she will be able to guide you through any legal options you may have available to you. Many legal tools are low-key and will likely help you avoid a courtroom battle with your child’s other parent, if that is a goal you would like to pursue.
Disputes about custody, parenting time, and parenting styles at the holidays are very common among co-parents. Thankfully, you do not need to navigate potential solutions to these challenges alone.
Child Custody Support Is Available
If you have questions about child custody matters generally, child custody order modifications specifically and/or holiday and vacation considerations, please schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright today. Speaking with experienced Rockville, Maryland child custody lawyers will not commit you to drafting a parenting agreement a certain way, modifying existing orders, or otherwise taking binding legal action. Our team is simply here to help you make an informed decision that will ultimately advance your child’s best interests. Once your questions are answered, we will certainly be happy to help you explore your legal options and provide support if you choose to move forward with any of them. Co-parenting is hard work. Our firm is here to help with the legal side of things so that you can focus on being the best parent possible.
Make Important Child Rearing Decisions Together
It is crucial for you and your ex to come to agreement on important decisions regarding your children. For example, if one of your children needs braces, discuss this with your ex, including how you will both contribute to the dental costs. If there is disagreement on this, our child custody lawyers in Rockville, MD can review the circumstances and help you and your ex work out an agreement that is fair for all involved.
At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we understand how difficult it can be to handle custody matters and are happy to answer all of your questions. If you would like to schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers, call us today.
Child Custody Lawyers
If you are going through a child custody battle, child custody lawyers Rockville, MD residents trust may be able to help. At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we have been helping individuals just like yourself get through custody battles for the past 35 years. We believe in fighting hard for our clients at every stage of the process.
How Does the Court Decide Who Gets Custody?
If you are fighting for custody of your children, you may wonder how a judge decides which parent to award custody to. Here are several factors a judge may look at to determine custody of children:
- Age of the children: As child custody lawyers in Rockville, MD can attest, the judge looks at the age of children before deciding on custody arrangements. If the children are very young, the judge will likely award custody to the mother. If the children are older than 12, the judge may ask them who they prefer to live with.
- Each parent’s relationship with the children: A judge may also take into account each parent’s relationship with the children before the divorce, as child custody lawyers Rockville, MD locals respect can confirm. If a parent didn’t spend much time with the children while married and now wants to have a better relationship with them, the judge may believe the custody request is made to get back at the other parent.
- Each parent’s financial situation: Child custody lawyers Rockville, MD residents count on have also seen judges consider each parent’s finances before making a custody decision. If one parent, for example, doesn’t have a job and is struggling to pay bills, the judge may not think that’s the best environment for children and award custody to the other parent.
- Mental and physical health of each parent: During a custody battle, a judge will likely consider each parent’s mental and physical health. If a parent has a mental or physical condition that prevents him or her from properly caring for children, the judge will likely award custody to the other parent.
- Abuse or neglect: If there is evidence that a parent has abused or neglected his or her children, the judge won’t award custody to him or her, as Rockville child custody lawyers can verify. In fact, the judge may limit the parent’s contact with the children.
Tips for Unmarried Parents To Avoid Difficult Custody Situations
Occasionally, unmarried parents may find themselves in custody disputes that require intervention from a child custody lawyer in Rockville MD. That said, an unmarried couple who shares a child or children can take steps to promote a thriving situation for the child and for themselves. You may wish to reach out to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright to discuss your rights, your options and your responsibilities when it comes to co-parenting. There are also helpful strategies that unmarried parents should take into consideration when trying to minimize conflict.
Consider Extended Family
In addition to their mother and father, children value relationships with their extended relatives and should be allowed to form healthy bonds with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Unmarried parents should take into consideration ways to incorporate these relatives into an agreed-upon visitation cycle for the sake of the children’s development. When children see all of the adults in their lives working together, a lasting, positive impact is made. If you are an unmarried mother or father needing assistance with making custody arrangements that are in the best interests of your child, contact the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright.
Consider the Other Parent’s Role
Despite the reason a couple may remain unmarried, sharing a child together requires sincere commitment from both parents. Most of the time it is the mother who has primary custody of the children, while the father should seek advice from a child custody lawyer in Rockville MD to secure his rights to visitation. It is important for the parent with full, permanent custody of the children to communicate regularly with the other parent to provide the healthiest situation for the children involved. Unmarried parents who are sharing custody can co-parent successfully and in the best interests of their shared children with proper guidance from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright.
Consider Creative Ways To Include Visitation Opportunities
If a child is involved in activities outside of school, both parents should play an active role in supporting these activities. If unmarried parents put in the effort to work out a schedule that accommodates natural, everyday needs, then all parties benefit. For example, unmarried parents can establish an agreement regarding arrangements for school pick-up and drop-off or delivery to and from sports activities. A child custody lawyer in Rockville MD may be able to assist with making arrangements that are suitable to your unique circumstance.
Ultimately, unmarried parents have an obligation to maintain clear and open communication with one another for the best interests of the children they share. If parents can communicate with one another responsibly, many issues can be avoided and the child will be better able to form healthy, meaningful relationships with parents and family members. When circumstances arise that make communication difficult between unmarried parents, however, you should contact a child custody lawyer in Rockville MD. Reach out to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright to help with any issues you’re having with communication or visitation rights between unmarried parents.
Questions You Should Ask Your Child Custody Attorney
What Experience Do You Have With Cases Like Mine?
Before you choose your attorney, you should ask your prospective child custody lawyers in Rockville MD about their experience. Each child custody case is different. They have different nuances and characteristics that need to be properly presented to the judge or opposing party’s lawyers so that you receive the custody agreement you desire. Choose firms that have experience with your type of case, whether it is contested or uncontested, and whose practice is primarily made up of child custody cases, e.g., Daniel J. Wright.
What Laws Do I Need To Be Aware Of?
Because every state has different custody laws, you need to know what your state’s laws are specifically. It is especially important that you know about these laws before you ever step into a courtroom. You and your child custody lawyers in Rockville MD should use these laws during the discovery, negotiation and trial periods. Therefore, you need to know what they are, what they mean and how they can be used to support your case in court.
Do Mother’s Get Preferential Treatment?
While some states have adopted laws that treat both parents equally, many still prefer to give custody to mothers. However, if you are a father, you still have rights that can be enforced through the courts. In addition, if you can prove incompetence as a father, you may still be granted custody in states that typically give the mother custody. If you are a mother, you still need to build a strong case, even in states where you will receive preferential treatment. Reputable child custody lawyers in Rockville MD, such as Daniel J. Wright, can help you build your case.
How Is Visitation Set?
Ideally, you can work with your former spouse to create a visitation schedule. However, if you cannot agree, you may be subject to mediation, where you and your lawyers meet and make your cases before a mediator who will determine your schedule. Whether you go the mediation route or you and your former spouse make a schedule, you need to file paperwork with the court and a judge needs to approve your visitation agreement. In addition, if things change and you need to adapt your visitation schedule, you need to file a notification with the court.
What Do I Need To Know About Child Support?
Child support includes financial assistance so that your child has plenty of food and other necessities. It also covers your child’s shelter or home. If you or your former spouse have full custody, child support will be ordered for the non-custodial parent. The amount of child support that the court can order is based on the income of this parent. Even if you amicably agree on a child support amount, you should file paperwork with the court to prevent future issues.
Things To Consider When Going Through Child Custody Proceedings While Leaving the Rest to Daniel J. Wright
The end of a relationship can be complicated and troublesome. When children are involved, it is significantly more problematic and strenuous. A child custody lawyer in Rockville MD has the legal knowledge to help you navigate the process. Daniel J. Wright can help you through each step. Therefore, hopefully, some of the stress and worry you might be experiencing can be relieved, and you can focus on your child’s experience.
Acknowledge Your Stress Might Be Your Child’s Burden
Unfortunately, children sense the stress their parents are feeling. They can unknowingly take that burden on themselves. Considering this, it is of utmost importance for you to take care of yourself during this period in your life.
You have probably heard that on a flight, the airline attendants advise you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping someone else. If you fail to help yourself first, you will not be capable of helping others on the flight.
Likewise, during a divorce, get help for yourself first. Take time doing something for yourself that might help you relax. Seek professional help to assist with your stress first so that you can be clearheaded and healthy to find ways to help your children release any burdens that they have unintentionally acquired. A child custody lawyer in Rockville MD can provide the legal help you need so that you can focus on yourself and then be there in full your child.
Recognize Your Child’s Emotions
This period in your life is probably a very stressful time for you. Consider how stressful and upsetting it is for your child as well. Children can suffer lasting effects due to the separation of their parents. If not handled properly, it could be detrimental and negatively affect their future. It is crucial to listen to your child during this time. You can also watch for behavior changes. Doing so will help you anticipate any potential issues and intervene as soon as possible.
Redefine Your Relationship With Your Co-Parent
Although your relationship has ended, you and your ex-spouse have a child together, and you will probably have some form of relationship with that person for many years to come. You must define this new relationship and make it one that will be beneficial to your child. Creating a different, healthy relationship will likely help the child have a much better perspective during this process.
Consider focusing on your family and leave the legalities to Daniel J. Wright.
Hiring Child Custody Lawyers
If you want custody of your children, your next step is to set up a consultation with child custody lawyers Rockville, MD locals depend on. They may help you get your case moving in the right direction and protect your best interests.
During the initial consultation, don’t hesitate to ask questions about a child custody lawyer’s skills and experience. For example, you may want to find out how many child custody cases a lawyer handles every year or where he attended law school.
If you are looking for child custody lawyers Rockville, MD offers, contact the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright.