One of the most important issues that parents face during a divorce is determining the custody of the children. At the Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices, an emphasis is placed on helping parents with custody issues find the solution that is most beneficial for the children. An experienced attorney may be invaluable when there is a custodial dispute.
Sole Vs. Legal Custody
In most cases, both parents will ultimately share custody of the children. However, in some instances, it may be best for one parent to have sole physical or legal custody. With exclusive physical custody, the children will live with just one parent. Sole legal custody grants one parent the power to make decisions pertaining to the children’s care, including medical care, education and religious upbringing. The court can also decide to award one parent with sole and legal custody, depending on the situation.
Numerous factors often contribute to a judge’s decision to award sole custody to one parent. The noncustodial parent may be involved with drugs or alcohol, or have a physical or mental impairment that affects his or her ability to care for the children. Domestic violence might have been present during the marriage, which could continue to threaten the safety of the children if they are left alone with the abusive parent.
Noncustodial parents may have the right to see their children during visitation periods. Depending on the circumstances, supervised visitation might be ordered. In extreme cases, the court may decide that it is in the children’s best interests to have no contact with the noncustodial parent. This is usually done in cases where the children have been abused sexually, physically or mentally by the other parent.
Advocating For Families
Parents in Dallas with child custody issues need the assistance of a capable and compassionate attorney. Call Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800 for a free initial consultation, or fill out our online form.