Louisville Child Custody Attorney
Children are often caught in the middle of their parent’s conflict. When married, both parents share legal and physical custody, so long as there are no other court orders in place. However, divorced or unmarried parents are faced with making child custody arrangements, attorneys help lessen the burden on all parties involved.
The law requires a judge to make custody decisions based on what’s in the best interest of the child. Determining whether there will be sole or joint custody, the court will take many issues into consideration: child safety, issues of domestic violence, presence of drug or alcohol abuse, emotional support for the children, and who has been the primary caregiver of the child prior to court involvement. Ultimately, the court uses the statutory determination of “best interest of the child” to resolve these custody matters.
If you are divorced and have minor children, then your divorce decree should outline the custody arrangement between you and your ex-spouse. Your decree should also outline parenting time, child support, a holiday schedule, and other important issues involving your child.
As you know, things change very quickly in life. Whether you have joint custody or sole custody of your child, you may need to go back to court to change your agreement. You may get a new job in another state. Your ex-spouse may become addicted to drugs. Your children may express fear or make allegations of child abuse or neglect of the other parent. There are many reasons you may need to file a post decree custody motion.
I can guide you through the process. I can recommend custodial evaluators and /or therapists. I can request the court appoint your child an attorney of his or her own (Guardian ad Litem) or request that you case get an appointment of a Friend of the Court (a local, trusted family court lawyer who is investigates and interviews key parties in the case including the child and gives a written report to the court).
Unmarried Parents (Father’s Rights)
Today, many adults have decided marriage is not an institution in which they wish to participate. Unmarried parents have a different set of legal issues than divorced parents. Remember, at birth, the parents have joint custody, although the child doesn’t technically have a legal father.
First, paternity has to be determined for fathers. A father can acknowledge the paternity of his child by having his name placed on the birth certificate. This acknowledgment can be used in court proceedings as proof that the father has previously acknowledged the paternity of a child.
The best way to establish your rights as a father is to start a paternity action with the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office. You can acknowledge and admit you are the father in a court or you can request genetic testing to determine if you are the father.
Once paternity has been established, either parent can file a custody petition against the other. A custody petition is the best way to protect your rights as a parent especially if you are a father. A custody petition is literally a civil lawsuit against the other parent to set parenting time, re-establish joint custody, set child support, determine how the child will be raised and other major issues concerning the child.
Many times mothers out of anger will prevent fathers from having a relationship with the child. This is wrong. Fathers are equal parents to mothers. Fathers have a constitutional right to be a parent. Fathers have the right to participate in their child’s life.
Many times fathers are abusive to mothers (and children) and a mother must protect herself and the children from domestic violence or emotional violence. I will help you protect you and the children, by presenting evidence in the best light to the court. Require custodial evaluations, psychological evaluations, and other experts to help you and the children.
Whether I represent the mother or the father, the child deserves to have the best situation in which to grow and thrive. A custody petition helps determine a blueprint for the child’s upbringing.
As a dedicated family attorney, I can make this difficult time easier. I will fight for your constitutional rights. I will help your child have the benefit of both parents in his or her life. Contact my office today so we can begin working together to protect your rights as a parent. My office phone number is (502) 454-5019.