If you are a parent who has split up from your partner, arranging the custody of your children can be immensely challenging. While most parents have their children’s best interests at heart, disagreements often arise when it comes to deciding who gets to make decisions on behalf of the children. Child custody lawyers can help divorcing parents settle disputes and understand their rights, all while ensuring that the best interests of the children are protected. In a case where a parent requests that an existing custody arrangement be changed, a lawyer can provide assistance.
HOW ARE CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS DETERMINED? There are two kinds of custody arrangements: joint custody, which is when parents share custody of their children, and sole custody, which is when one parent has custody and the other typically has visitation rights. The type of custody and the specific details of the arrangement can be determined by the parents themselves. If they wish, they can consult with a lawyer who will assist them in deciding upon the arrangement. If the parents are unable to reach an amicable agreement, they may need to take the case to court, where a judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child or children. HOW CAN I CHANGE AN EXISTING ARRANGEMENT? It is normal that parenting arrangements change over time based on the children’s ages and needs. However, there are some situations where one or both parents might request that the custody arrangement itself be officially changed. If they can reach an agreement alone, or with the help of a lawyer, they must submit the proposed changes to the court for approval.If not, they can take the case to court and have a judge decide. WHAT IF THE PARENT WITH CUSTODY WANTS TO MOVE? A conflict may arise if the parent with sole custody wants to move and take their children with them. The other parent must agree with the move and ideally provide their approval in writing.In most cases, it is best to hire a lawyer to help make the new arrangement. If a decision cannot be reached, the parent with custody may apply to the court to approve the move, or the parent without custody may apply for a non-removal order, under which the child would not be allowed to move away. A judge will be the one to decide whether the child can move or not. EXPERIENCED LAWYERS IN NEWFOUNDLAND At Gittens & Associates, we offer legal services in a variety of practice areas. Whether you are looking to hire a probate lawyer or a child custody dispute lawyer, we are able to advocate on your behalf. To book a consultation, or find out more about our services, contact us today.