Top 10 Family Law Attorneys near the Philadelphia, PA Area

Anyone who lives in or near Philadelphia knows that it is both a historical city as well as a city that loves its sports teams. The City of Brotherly Love is not without its faults though.

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Like all major cities in the country, there are many happy families and many unhappy families. Some are able to work through their troubles while others decide the best way to solve their problems is to break apart. For the latter, they should know there are some great family law attorneys to assist with making it as smooth as possible.

Here are our choices for the Philadelphia, PA area:

Joni J. Berner

Joni J. Berner is a very experienced family law attorney with over 38 years of experience. She is currently the managing partner at Berner Klaw & Watson LLP.

Ms. Berner is a graduate of the Villanova University School of Law. She is also the recipient of many awards such as having her firm cited as one of the Top 25 Law Firms by Pro Bono Hours by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Clients and attorneys alike praise Ms. Berner for her knowledge and professionalism.

Berner Klaw & Watson
1528 Walnut Street
Suite 1100
Philadelphia, PA 19102
877-790-1421

Lori A. Frio-Walker

Lori A. Frio-Walker is a family law attorney with over eight years of experience. She received her J.D. degree from the Villanova University School of Law.

When asked about why she chose to practice family law Ms. Frio-Walker responded, “Because each family is unique, I believe that my job is to determine what your particular needs are and develop a legal strategy that is right for you. I pride myself on finding creative legal solutions for complicated family law concerns.”

Her clients praise her for being extremely transparent and professional as well as caring.

Lori A. Frio-Walker, Esq.
1845 Market Street
Suite 1616
Philadelphia, PA 19103
610-981-1909

Patrick J. Cooper

Patrick J. Cooper is a partner at Sadek and Cooper. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Mr. Cooper’s clients feel he is sympathetic to their situations and that he clearly explains the intricacies of their cases in an easy to understand manner. His peers feel he is an excellent example for what a family law attorney should be.

Sadek and Cooper Law Offices
1315 Walnut Street
Suite 502
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-545-0008

Melinda M. Previtera

Melinda M. Previtera is a graduate of the Rutgers School of Law and an attorney at Previtera & Schimmel. She has been published in the Legal Lookout and the Pennsylvania Bar Quarterly.

Ms. Previtera has been praised for her confidence and control of the courtroom. She has also been cited as being very supportive and understanding.

Previtera & Schimmel
100 N. 18th ST.
Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
800-580-9136

Randi L. Rubin

Randi L. Rubin is a very experienced family law attorney with over 18 years of experience. She is a graduate of the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law and an attorney at Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP.

Ms. Rubin is known by her clients for her no-nonsense approach. Her peers know her to be very knowledgeable and to always be well prepared.

Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP
1835 Market Street
Suite 1400
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-569-2700

William C. Kirby

William C. Kirby is a Duke University School of Law graduate. He has over 11 years of various legal experience.

Mr. Kirby is said to be intelligent, professional and compassionate by both his clients and his peers.

William Kirby – Attorney at Law
1600 JFK Blvd
Four Penn Center
Philadelphia, PA 19103
267-225-6233

Kristine L. Calalang

Kristine L. Calalang is the founder of The Law Office of Kristine L. Calalang. Ms. Calalang received her J.D. degree from the Villanova University School of Law.

Ms. Calalang is praised for her down-to-earth demeanor and her knowledge of family law.

She has been published on DivorceNet.com and The Legal Intelligencer.

The Law Office of Kristine L. Calalang
1221 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-359-9656

Samantha J. Evian

Samantha J. Evian is a practicing attorney at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP. She has 13 years of experience and is a graduate of the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law.

Ms. Evian has been cited as being extremely knowledgeable in the family law field. Her clients also believe her to be understanding and patient.

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
Centre Square West
1500 Market Street
Suite 3400
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-665-3000

Michael D. Fioretti

Michael D. Fioretti is the founder of The Law Offices of Michael D. Fioretti. He has an amazing 44 years of experience and received his J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law.

Mr. Fioretti’s clients feel he is honest and transparent. He is also respected by his peers.

Law Offices of Michael D. Fioretti
The Bourse Suite 790
111 So. Independence Mall East
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-440-7612

Jonathan C. Noble

Jonathan C. Noble is a graduate of the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law and the owner of the Law Office of Jonathan C. Noble, Esq. He has over 16 years of experience.

Mr. Noble is known to have a very informed and measured approach, which both his clients and peers appreciate.

Law Office of Jonathan C. Noble, Esq.
PO Box 30
Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
610-256-4843

The Philadelphia area is home to many of the top law firms in the country, and you can see many of the attorneys on this list share alma maters. They also share a lot of combined family law experience. You should feel comfortable contacting any of them regarding questions about drafting or reviewing a parenting plan or coming up with an acceptable visitation schedule.

As of December, 2016, the Philadelphia, PA area family law attorneys on this list have been recognized by third-party organizations and their clients for their excellence in the area of divorce and family law.

Categories: Child Custody Court, Child Custody Mediation

Top 10 Family Law Attorneys near the Miami, FL Area

Miami is known for its clean streets, great weather, and fantastic beaches. It’s one of the biggest most eventful cities in the world. From cruises, boat tours, and parks of all kinds, there are plenty activities for couples and families alike.

But for all the greatness that there is in Miami, there is the reality that not everything works out as planned. Couples do go their separate ways and families do break up.

The good news is that Miami’s great living conditions have drawn some great family law attorneys to the area.

Here are our choices for the Miami, FL area:

Patrick Vilar

Patrick Vilar is a founding member of Vilar Law and has been a licensed attorney for over 20 years. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo School of Law.

Mr. Vilar is said to be both professional and knowledgeable. His clients feel he is up front with expectations of outcomes as well as fees, and though he is conscious about keeping expenses reasonable, he does not sacrifice quality.

Mr. Vilar speaks English and Spanish.

Vilar Law, P.A.
66 W Flagler St #500
Miami, FL 33130
305-373-8000

Jacqueline Valdespino

Jacqueline Valdespino is an extremely experienced family law attorney with over 28 years of professional experience. She is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.

Ms. Valdespino is respected by both her clients and her peers who feel she is fair and thorough. Along with Ms. Valdespino’s praise, her staff as a whole has been praised for their professionalism.

Ms. Valdespino speaks English, Spanish, and Italian.

Valdespino & Associates, P.A.
2641 Abaco Avenue
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
305-422-1200

Antonio G. Jimenez

Antonio G. Jimenez is a partner at Martinez-Scanziani & Jimenez Law. He received his Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.

Mr. Jimenez has been said to be a straight shooter that does not sugar coat clients’ situations. He is also known to be a very hard worker that does all he can to get the best possible results for his clients.

Mr. Jimenez speaks English and Spanish.

Martinez-Scanziani & Jimenez Law
3191 Coral Way
Suite 203
Miami, FL 33145
786-525-7671

Jonathan May

Jonathan May is a senior partner at The Lion’s Den. He is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center.

Mr. May has been cited as being professional yet down to earth. When asked about his firm he replied, “…we experience success by prioritizing our clients needs. It is a lot of work and sacrifice at times to get the results that they desire so we strive for that aspect of success.”

The Lion’s Den
1395 Brickell Ave
Suite 900
Miami, FL 33131
305-699-5466

Robert J. Hanreck

Robert J. Hanreck is the owner of The Law Offices of Robert J. Hanreck, P.A. He has been licensed for over 16 years.

Mr. Hanreck has been praised for his clarity and communication. His clients’ feel he is as practical as they come.

The Law Offices of Robert J. Hanreck, P.A. Blvd.
40 NW 3rd Street
Penthouse 4
Miami, FL 33128
786-539-4935

Ana Marie Perez

Ana Marie Perez is the president of Perez Law, P.L. and has been licensed for 9 years. She is a graduate of the St. Thomas University School of Law and has received numerous awards such as being named one of the American Institute of Family Law Attorney’s 10 best female attorneys in 2016.

Ms. Perez is known for being a comfortable mix of professional and personable, and is said to be very level-headed and clear.

Ms. Perez speaks English and Spanish.

Perez Law, P.L.
7480 Bird Avenue
Suite 540
Miami, FL 33155
786-319-9015

Fritznie A. Jarbath

Fritznie Jarbath is a partner of Jarbath Pena Law Group, PA. She is a graduate of Florida International University’s College of Law.

Ms. Jarbath has the respect of many in the legal world with many of her peers praising her integrity. Her clients also share many positive feelings.

When asked about their firm and what it stands for Ms. Jarbath responded that they are, “Legal Professionals dedicated to helping you navigate through life’s difficult decisions.”

Ms. Jarbath speaks English and Creole.

Jarbath Pena Law Group
717 Pence de Leon Blvd.
Suite 208
Coral Gables, FL 33134
305-615-1005

Milagros Laguna

Milagros Laguna is the owner of the Laguna Law Offices. She graduated from the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 1997.

Ms. Laguna is known to be as caring as she is professional.

Laguna Law Offices
Sunset Office Park
9370 SW 72 Street
Suite A130
Miami, FL 33173
305-270-7477

Sandy T. Fox

Sandy T. Fox has been licensed for over 12 years and is the owner of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A. He graduated from the Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center in 2004.

Mr. Fox is known to be an excellent communicator, explaining legal situations and implications to his clients in an easy-to-understand manner. His clients also praise his diligence.

Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A.
2750 NE 185th St
#302
Aventura, FL 33180
305-932-6542

Marck Joseph, Esq.

Marck Joseph graduated from the Florida International University’s College of Law. He is the founder of the Joseph Firm.

Mr. Joseph has been said to be very clear with clients’ cases and what they should expect when moving forward.

Mr. Joseph speaks English and Creole.

The Joseph Firm
1031 Ives Dairy Road
Suite 228
Miami, FL 33179
305-501-0992

Within this list of Miami family law attorneys you have hundreds of years of combined experience and four spoken languages. You’re sure to find an attorney that can help with all of your family law needs from parenting plans to help with figuring out Florida’s child support calculations.

As of November, 2016, the Miami, FL area family law attorneys on this list have been recognized by third-party organizations and their clients for their excellence in the area of divorce and family law.

Categories: Child Custody Court, Child Custody Mediation

Top 10 Family Law Attorneys near the Las Vegas, NV Area

A popular motif in many fun films is the drive through wedding facilities near the strip in Las Vegas. What is not shown is how many divorces that occur because of various reasons such as rushing into marriages without realizing what a major commitment it is.

Divorce, contested or not, is no laughing matter. It gets more complicated when there are children involved.

The good news is that anyone going through a divorce or other family law matter in the Las Vegas area has a plethora of well-respected family law attorneys to choose from.

Here are our choices for the Las Vegas, NV area:

Molly Rosenblum

Molly Rosenblum is the founder of the Rosenblum Law Offices. A graduate of the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, she has been a licensed family law attorney for over 14 years.

Both her clients and peers alike respect Ms. Rosenblum. She is known to be very professional and always well prepared.

When asked about her decision to work in family law Ms. Rosemblum replied, “I chose family law because it is a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and to contribute to the legal community in a meaningful way. I have handled thousands of custody, divorce and dependency matters. Many attorneys look down their nose at family law practitioners and I often hear my colleagues say how can you do that work? In my opinion, being a family law attorney is being a real lawyer day in and day out. It is helping every-day people with every-day problems and it gives me the chance to make a real difference in the life of a parent, child and/or spouse on a daily basis.”

Ms. Rosenblum speaks English and Spanish.

Rosenblum Law Offices
7375 S Pecos Road
Suite 101
Las Vegas, NV 89120
720-433-2889

James E. Smith

James E. Smith has been licensed for over 35 years. He is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law.

Mr. Smith not only practices family law, but also personal injury, estate planning, bankruptcy, and more.

He is known to be very clear with clients’ situations and communicates realistic expectations.

Mr. Smith is multilingual and speaks English, Spanish, French, and German.

James E. Smith, ESQ.
7251 W. Lake Mead Blvd.
Suite 300
Las Vegas, NV 89128
702-562-4209

Rebecca H. Miller

Rebecca Hopkins Miller is a family law attorney associated with Cooper | Coons, Ltd. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law.

Ms. Miller has been practicing for over 30 years. When asked about why she chose family law she responded, “Since I wanted to be a psychologist and also love courtroom drama and arguing for the people’s rights, I got my wish when I discovered my strengths were in family law-a blend of both worlds!”

Cooper | Coons
10655 Park Run Dr.
Suite 130
Las Vegas, NV 89144
702-998-1500

Nedda Ghandi

Nedda Ghandi is a partner of Ghandi Deeter Blackham Law Offices. She is a graduate of the William S. Boyd School of Law.

Ms. Ghandi has received numerous awards including Nevada Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite” award in 2013, 2014, and 2015. She is praised by her clients and respected by her peers.

Ms. Ghandi speaks English and Farsi.

Ghandi Deeter Blackham Law Offices
707 South 10th Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702-878-1115

Jennifer V. Abrams

Jennifer V. Abrams is the founding member of the Abrams & Mayo Law Firm. She has been licensed for over 18 years and is a graduate of the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Mr. Abrams has been praised for being the upmost professional in and out of the courtroom. Her peers know her as aggressive yet reasonable.

The Abrams & Mayo Law Firm
6252 South Rainbow Blvd.
Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89118
702-222-4021

Edward L. Kainen

Edward L. Kainen has been licensed for over 28 years and is active in many areas of family law such as divorce and separation, alimony, and child custody. He is the owner of the Kainen Law Group.

Mr. Kainen has won the appreciation of many of his clients due to the quality and efficiency of his work. And, his peers see him as a truly valued asset to the Las Vegas legal community.

Kainen Law Group
3303 Novat Street
Suite 200
Las Vegas, NV 89129
702-823-4900

Roger A. Giuliani

Roger A. Giuliani is the owner of the Law Office of Roger A. Giuliani, P.C. He has been licensed to practice family law for over 20 years.

Mr. Giuliani’s clients feel he does an excellent job at breaking down the complexities of the family court system in a way that’s easy for them to understand.

Law Office of Roger A. Giuliani, P.C.
500 N Rainbow Blvd.
#300
Las Vegas, NV 89107
702-221-1955

Louis C. Schneider

Louis C. Schneider is a graduate of the University of Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law and the owner of the Law Offices of Louis C. Schneider. He has been licensed for over 11 years.

Mr. Schneider is known to be tough but reasonable by both his clients and his peers. He is not only an excellent family lawyer, but a first class criminal defense attorney as well.

Mr. Schneider is also a published author in Time Magazine and the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Law Offices of Louis C. Schneider
430 S. 7th Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702-435-2121

Soraya M. Viega

Soraya M. Viega is a graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She has been licensed to practice family law for over 14 years.

Ms. Viega’s clients feel she is extremely compassionate and transparent. She always looks for the best-case scenario while making sure to explain clearly what likely outcomes will be.

Soraya M. Viega, Esq.
7464 W. Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89117
702-686-3371

Radford J. Smith

Radford J. Smith is the owner of Radford J. Smith, Chartered and a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law. He has been licensed for over 30 years.

Mr. Smith’s clients praise his knowledge of both family law and the court system. They also praise his professionalism.

Radford J. Smith, Chartered
2470 St. Rose Parkway
Suite 206
Las Vegas, NV 89074
702-583-6867

If you never need a family attorney, consider yourself lucky. However, if you are in Las Vegas and find yourself in need of a parenting plan or have questions about child support in Nevada, you might considering contacting a reliable and well respected family law attorney.

As of November, 2016, the Las Vegas, NV area Family Law attorneys on this list have been recognized by third-party organizations and their clients for their excellence in the area of divorce and family law.

Categories: Child Custody Court, Child Custody Mediation

Top 10 Family Law Attorneys near the Chicago, IL Area

Chicago is one the most populated cities in America, and with all those people there are bound to be plenty of marriages and divorces. Luckily, there are also plenty of highly qualified and experienced family law attorneys.

Family law attorneys can assist with prenuptial agreements, uncontested divorces, contested divorces, custody agreements, domestic abuse scenarios, and more.

Here are our choices for the Chicago, IL area:

Marc Bangser

Marc Bangser is a founding member of Bennett & Bangser, LLC and has been a licensed attorney for over 10 years. He is a graduate of John Marshall Law School.

Mr. Bangser has received numerous positive reviews from his clients. Some of the most common praise references his calm professional demeanor during consultations, and his aggressive courtroom approach due to his experience as a criminal prosecutor.

Bennett & Bangser, LLC
150 S. Wacker Drive
24th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
312-788-2770

Jennifer Guimond-Quigley

Jennifer Guimond-Quigley is a multi-practice attorney with experience in family law. She has been licensed for 7 years and is a graduate of the John Marshall Law School.

Ms. Guimond-Quigley’s past clients feel she is as personable as she is professional. She is cited as being very well informed and an excellent communicator.

When asked about why she chose to work within family law she responded,“Family law is one of the few areas of law where you can see the direct impact of your work on children. Helping my clients provide their children with stability and helping them establish and maintain a good co-parenting relationship are the key drivers to why I love practicing in the area of family law.”

Law Office of Jennifer Guimond-Quigley
564 W. Randolph Street
Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60661
312-857-4159

Russell D. Knight

Russell D. Knight is the founding member of the Law Office of Russell D. Knight. As a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Mr. Knight has been licensed to practice law for 9 years.

He is known to be very straightforward and transparent with his predictions of outcomes.

Aside from family law, Mr. Knight also works in immigration and criminal defense.

Law Office of Russell D. Knight
4725 N. Western Ave.
#250
Chicago, IL 60625
773-334-6311

Jennifer Ward

Jennifer Ward is a John Marshall Law School graduate. She focuses only on family law, and has been doing so for over 15 years.

Ms. Ward is cited as being extremely detail oriented and punctual. She is very experienced and is as knowledgeable as they come as a family law specialist.

Ward Family Law, LLC
115 North Wacker Drive
Suite 4250
Chicago, IL 60606
312-803-5838

James Teich

James Teich is an Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law graduate and practicing family law attorney. He has over 15 years of experience exclusively in family law.

Mr. Teich is known as being very compassionate to his clients’ unique situations. He is also respected for his transparency and integrity.

Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group
233 S. Wacker Drive
84th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
312-445-8830

Lyn C Conniff

Lyn C. Conniff of Conniff Law Offices began her legal career over two decades ago as a corporate and securities attorney. She now focuses on family law.

Ms. Conniff is a graduate of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Her clients feel she is extremely knowledgeable and her peers praise her attention to detail.

Conniff Law Offices
111 W. Washington St.
#1625
Chicago, IL 60602
708-763-0999

Patrick Markey, PC

Patrick Markey is a Chicago, IL based family attorney that is well respected by his peers and clients alike. He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law and has been a licensed attorney for over 13 years.

Mr. Markey’s clients believe him to be both a caring person and a results driven professional.

Mr. Markey speaks English and Spanish.

Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C.
20 South Clark Street
Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60603
312-223-1763

Marie C. Fahnert

Marie Fahnert has more than 9 years of professional experience dedicated solely to divorce and separation. She is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and has been published in the Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Fahnert’s reputation is one of a hard-working and transparent family law attorney. Her client’s have stated they feel she gives all her effort with getting them the best results possible.

Fahnert Family Law Office
25 E. Washington Street
Suite 1217
Chicago, IL 60602
312-235-2352

Scott Tzinberg

Scott Tzinberg has over 20 years of professional experience in family law. He is the founder of the Law Offices of Scott Tzinberg, which he established in 1996 after graduating from the John Marshall School of Law.

Mr. Tzinberg’s clients often praise his calming personality and professional demeanor. They also compliment the legal team he has put together.

Law Offices of Scott Tzinberg
115 S. La Salle Street
Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60603
312-332-0966

Elizabeth M. Feely

Elizabeth Feely is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and has almost three decades of experience in family law. She is a name partner of the firm Kazmar | Feely.

Ms. Feely has been cited as being a true professional who always enters a mediation or courtroom proceeding well prepared and ready to win.

Kazmar | Feely
1010 Lake Street
Suite 500
Oak Park, IL 60301

Most people never spend any thought on family law attorneys until they need one. And, when you need one, you are often in a situation where your emotions are running high and your stress levels are through the roof.

By making sure your chosen attorney has the experience and skills required to assist with preparing a parenting plan that meets Illinois state requirements and help accurately access potential child support figures, you’ll alleviate a lot of those negative emotions and the accompanying stress.

As of November, 2016, the Chicago, IL area Family Law attorneys on this list have been recognized by third-party organizations and their clients for their excellence in the area of divorce and family law.

Categories: Child Custody Court, Child Custody Mediation

Top 10 Family Law Attorneys near the San Diego, CA Area

Many people have no idea how complicated family law is until they are in need of a family law attorney. Luckily, some of the most skilled legal professionals have chosen to practice within this legal discipline.

Custody X Change has researched the San Diego, CA area to find some of the top family law attorneys in the area. Only those who meet a certain standard of quality, such as having an acceptable rating on AVVO and other publicly available review sites as well as our own internal review system, have made this list.

Here are our choices for the San Diego, CA area:

Jeffrey P Mach, Jr.

Jeffrey P. Mach, Jr. is the CEO of Mach Law in San Diego. He has been licensed to practice law for 8 years and specializes in family law including domestic violence.

Mr. Mach’s clients have praised his thoroughness and follow through. He has also been complimented on his ability to hire and maintain a staff that adheres to the highest professional standards while remaining very personable.

Mr. Mach speaks English, Spanish, and Armenian.

Mach Law
550 West C Street
Suite 1670
San Diego CA 92101
619-398-3468

Shannon B. Miles

Shannon B. Miles is a graduate of the California Western School of Law and a founding partner of Cage & Miles, LLP. She has been practicing family law for over 8 years.

Ms. Miles receives positive reviews not only for her professionalism and concern for her clients’ well being, but also for putting together an incredible team.

Cage & Miles, LLP
12396 World Trade Dr., #109
San Diego, CA 92128
858-943-2060

Matthew J. Mesnik, Esq.

Matthew Mesnik has been practicing law in San Diego since 2009 and founded the Mesnik Law Group in 2015. He is a graduate of the California Western School of Law.

Mr. Mesnik is known for being both personable and professional. He has helped clients with not only understanding the process of their case, but with what to expect afterwards as well.

When asked about practicing law Mr. Mesnik responded, “I believe every client deserves competent representation from an attorney who truly looks out for their family’s best interest, not simply the outcome of a court hearing or an empty victory that costs the client far more than the benefit received.”

Mesnik Law Group
3914 Murphy Canyon Road
Suite A218
San Diego, CA 92123
619-966-4435

Brian A. Victor

Brian A. Victor is a graduate of the Concord Law School and has been practicing family law for over 6 years. He is also a licensed marriage family therapist.

Mr. Victor has a unique understanding of the San Diego family court system as he had worked as a Family Court Recommending Counselor Mediator for eleven years prior to setting up his own practice.

His clients praise his empathy, legal knowledge, and responsiveness.

Law Offices of Brian A. Victor
4225 Executive Square
Suite 600
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-633-3529

Steven R. Kampf

Steven R. Kampf is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and the founder of Kampf Law Firm in San Diego. He has been practicing family law for 5 years.

Mr. Kampf has been praised for his expertise and ability to help families understand their various options.

Kampf Law Firm
4766 Noyes St
San Diego, CA 92109
858-886-7591

John A. Delisi

John A. Delisi is a family law attorney and founder of the Law Office of John A. Delisi. He is a graduate of the Western State University College of Law and has over 35 years of legal experience.

Mr. Delisi is cited as being extremely patient with his clients making sure they completely understand their cases while being tenacious in the courtroom. He practices law under the belief that the attorney-client relationship is more important than the money his practice earns.

The Law Office of John A. Delisi
3110 Camino del Rio South
Suite 203
San Diego, CA 92108
858-292-1207

Anita J. Margolis

Anita Margolis is the founder of the Law Offices of Anita J. Margolis and has over 30 years of professional family law experience. She attended the California Western School of Law and graduated in the top 25% of her class.

Ms. Margolis has a perfect AVVO rating of 10. Her clients feel she is very knowledgeable and  that she helps simplify matters that appear extremely confusing. Her peers believe her to be a tough but upstanding attorney.

Law Offices of Anita J. Margolis
2366 Front Street
San Diego, CA 92101
619-215-1421

Kevin L. Cadora

Kevin L. Cadora is the founding partner of Fair Cadora APC. Mr. Cadora has over 12 years of experience and is a graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Mr. Cadora’s clients believe him to be extremely knowledgeable with a strong drive to get the best results. He is also known to be clear and honest regarding their cases and potential outcomes.

Fair Cadora APC
600 B Street
Suite 2210
San Diego, CA 92101
619-432-3555

Michelle Paul, Esq.

Michelle Paul is the founder of the Law Office of Michelle Paul, Esq. and a graduate of Western Sierra Law School. She also has 37 years of business experience.

Ms. Paul’s clients feel she is extremely trustworthy and that she treats them like family.

Ms. Paul’s firm is equipped to handle Italian -speaking clients.

The Law Office of Michelle Paul
2385 Shelter Island Drive #202
San Diego, CA 92106
619-738-6529

Carl Sizemore

Carl Sizemore is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and has 19 years of experience. He is the owner of the Law Offices of Carl Sizemore and a certified Family Law Specialist.

Mr. Sizemore has received praise from his clients for being professional and understanding of their complicated situations. He is known to be very personable, empathetic, and honest.

The Law Offices of Carl Sizemore
1685 East Main Street
Suite 203
El Cajon, CA 92021
619-442-2100
Family Law and You

Family law is not always a straightforward path. Depending on the complexities of each case, it can take a real expert to sort through all of the information to determine the best course of action for their clients, especially when there are children involved. From custody and visitation schedules to assistance with creating a parenting plan, legal expertise is not something to take lightly.

As of October, 2016, the San Diego, CA area Family Law attorneys on this list have been recognized by third-party organizations and their clients for their excellence in the area of divorce and family law.

Categories: Child Custody Court, Child Custody Mediation

Top 5 Family Law Attorneys near the Dallas, TX Area

Divorce is not usually a word that comes with positive thoughts and feelings, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some tremendously positive people working in Family Law. At Custody X Change, we decided to take a look at the best of best in the Dallas, TX area.

To come up with this list, we developed a proprietary formula that includes information such as an attorney’s rating on AVVO along with other reviews and publicly available details and data from our own internal research.

Here are our choices for the Dallas, TX area:

Alexandra Geczi

Alexandra Geczi is the owner and a founding member of Alexandra Geczi PLLC | Family Law. She is a University of Texas at Austin graduate and earned her degree in law from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law.

Ms. Geczi and her firm focus specifically on Family Law.

She is known to be very personable showing authentic concerns for her clients while at the same time maintaining the highest professional standards.

When asked about why she chose to pursue a career in Family Law Ms. Geczi replied, “Life if too short to spend it trapped in an unhealthy relationship. I know because I’m a child of an unhappy marriage. The pain I experienced doesn’t have to be your child’s pain. Our firm’s mission is to help people trapped in bad marriages open the door to brighter futures. We differentiate ourselves from other law firms by focusing on the client, helping them envision a future that brings them joy, educating them about their options, and creating a plan of action that supports them through the entire divorce process and beyond.”

Alexandra Geczi PLLC | Family Law
12801 N. Central Expressway,
Suite 565
Dallas, Texas 75243
214-269-4256

Mark Cohan

After earning his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Mr. Cohan decided to start his own firm. He specializes in Family Law, Wills and Estates, and Personal Injury.

Mr. Cohan has received a lot of praise from his clients for being extremely informed & knowledgeable as well as always maintaining excellent communication with them.

Mark Cohan Law
4502 West Lovers Lane
Dallas, TX 75209
214-369-9871

Robin Rubrecht Zegen

Robin Rubrecht Zegen is a graduate of the Oklahoma City University School of Law and has over 20 years of Family Law experience. She is currently an attorney at the Law Office of Julie Johnson PLLC.

Ms. Rubrecht Zegen is known for her tenacity inside the courtroom, but also receives praise from her clients for understanding and empathizing with the difficult and extreme emotions they experience during divorce proceedings.

Law Office of Julie Johnson PLLC
7557 Rambler Road
Suite 951
Dallas, TX 75231
214-265-7630

Sam Almasri

Mohamad “Sam” Almasri is a partner and co-founder of the Almasri, Marzwanian
& Sepulveda Law Group, PLLC in Dallas, TX. He received both his LL.M and J.D. from Southern Methodist University and also holds an LL.B. from Beirut Arab University.

Mr. Almasri practices Family Law as well as personal injury, bankruptcy, criminal defense, immigration, and more and has been a licensed attorney for over 10 years.

His clients feel he is very professional and dedicated to giving his all to assist them with their legal needs.

Almasri, Marzwanian & Sepulveda Law Group
9330 Lyndon B Johnson Freeway
Suite 900
Dallas, TX 75243
214-227-2777

Ryan H. Segall

Ryan H. Segall is an attorney at O’Niel Wysocki Family Law. He earned his law degree from the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. While Mr. Segall has the least professional experience on this list, his clients’ acclamations show he is no novice.

Mr. Segall is often praised for his professionalism and strength in court as well as his true concern for his clients’ well being.

O’Neil Wysocki Family Law
5323 Spring Valley Road
Suite 150
Dallas, TX 75254

Family Law is Nothing to Take Lightly

Even if you’re in the early stages of an uncontested divorce or at the beginning of what you assume will be an amicable split, when there is a child or children involved, it’s important to not take your separation or divorce lightly. Having professional assistance with situations like working out visitation schedules and drafting a child custody agreement can be invaluable.

As of October, 2016, the Dallas, TX area Family Law attorneys on this list have been recognized by third-party organizations and their clients for their excellence in the area of divorce and family law.

Categories: Child Custody Court, Child Custody Mediation

Infographic: Making a Parenting and Visitation Schedule

When you’re fighting your ex for child custody, developing a schedule that benefits all involved parties isn’t easy. If you can’t find common ground, you must try to remain legally and ethically moral, even if it means pushing your feelings aside. Only when you’ve assessed the basic repeating cycle – taking schooling, work and finances into account – can you decide which method is best for your unique situation.

Until the final word goes through a mediator or court system, every move you make could affect the outcome. Fortunately, Custody X Change has produced an infographic filled with tips and advice that will help during this difficult time.

Making-A-Parenting-and-Visitation-Schedule_inforgraphycs_v3

Infographic: Making a Parenting and Visitation Schedule | Custody Blog

Categories: Child Visitation Schedule, Parenting Plans

Understanding Split Custody Schedules

What is split custody?

Split custody is when two parents who are separated or divorced split the physical custody of their children with each other. One child lives with one parent, and the second child lives with the other parent.

Joint custody and split custody are two terms which are commonly confused with one another. Many people say they have split custody but really have joint custody, or both parents have a say in how their children are raised. Split custody has more to do with where each child is living.

How often is split custody used?

Split custody is not very common. Many parents, professional counselors, and the courts agree it is best for siblings to stay together. Children do much better transitioning back and forth between parents when they have each other.  However, there are some situations where split custody works well.

First, split custody is most frequently used when a child enters their teen years and wants to either bond with parent of the same gender or spread their wings by living with the other parent. They often think life will be easier and the will have more freedom living with the other parent. Sometimes the child learns this in not true and wants to come back to their original home.

You want to be aware the courts will always do what they think is best for the child and will often allow teenagers to live with the parent they choose.

Second, split custody is sometimes used if there are extreme relationship issues between certain parents and children or even the children themselves. It is usually recommended to try and work things out if this is the issue. However, there are some times when the best choice is to have a split custody schedule.

Third, it is physically dangerous for the siblings to live together. This is a very rare case but there have been some siblings who have physical or mental issues and are prone to hurting those around them. Split custody is the best option in this case. The children may then spend time together with proper supervision at certain times.

What are the biggest concerns with split custody?

The main concern many child advocates have with split custody schedules is the children not spending any time with each other. They indicate children who have good relationships with their siblings are more adjusted. If you decide to have a split custody schedule, you will want to make sure you allow adequate time for them to be together.

One idea is to have the children at their homes during the week and then the children spend weekends together alternating between parents. This makes it so there are exchanges every weekend and it does take more effort from the parents but is worth the work.

Should I have a split custody schedule?

The biggest item you need to think about when choosing a custody schedule is to do what is best for your children.  Look at your unique situation and decide what would be best for your child, you, and the other parent. Then move forward making the best of it.

Categories: child custody, Child Custody Schedule, Custody Agreements

Reasons for Standard Custody Agreements

There are many people who create their own, customized custody agreements. They are able to review their personal schedules, anticipate their child’s needs, and create custody arrangements that both parents are happy with.

When parents are able to create their own custody agreements, the judge will review their plans to make sure they are right for the child and will typically approve them. This helps their custody case go smoothly and conclude in a timely manner.

These parents are able to create unique custody agreements and visitation schedules that cater to the needs of their children and offer an alternative to the old standard visitation schedules and custody agreements.

Not all parents are able to work together to create an agreement. When parents are unable to reach an agreement, their custody arrangements will be decided for them by the court.

This will often result in a court order that includes a generic, basic custody plan. A standard custody agreement may be the right choice if:

  • Parents are so hateful toward each other that they cannot manage to sit in the same room together in a professional manner. If they cannot or will not communicate, reaching an agreement becomes impossible.
  • A parent is so hurt by and angry with the other parent that they completely disregard what is best for their child. Instead, they use the child as a weapon in order to plot revenge against the other parent. They fight for the custody plan that they want and are unyielding. They certainly are not going to set their vendetta aside in order to keep the peace and create a custom agreement.
  • There are situations that may occur, such as domestic violence, that prohibit a parent from having any form of contact with the other one. Of course, this only pertains to parents who feel endangered. If the child is endangered, a standard custody agreement would not be appropriate. They would need to seek supervised visitation in order to protect their child from the other parent.
  • Despite their best efforts, some parents are unable to reach an agreement, even after attending mediation. They both want different things and are unwilling or unable to compromise. They mean well, but they simply cannot come to an understanding regarding custody.

If you are unable to create and submit a mutually agreed upon custody plan, it is likely that you would be given a standard custody agreement. This is a basic schedule and custody agreement that the court assigns to parents when they do not submit a finalized agreement to the court.

If you do not want your child to be stuck with a generic schedule, and you are unable to give an agreement to the court, you can create your own proposed agreement to present to the judge. This will give the judge something else to consider in addition to the standard plan.

If you are able to convince the judge why your schedule would benefit your child, the judge will think about your request and may even approve it. Thousands of child custody cases are brought into court for litigation each year. A proposed agreement will provide the court with insight as to your child’s needs and your unique circumstances.

Giving the judge an alternative to choose from is a way to improve your chances of having a positive outcome in your case.

If you do end up with a standard custody agreement, you should keep in mind that there are many families that have successfully followed the same agreement before you. Spending quality time with your child can be more important that the quantity of time you spend with her. You should also know that custodial parents are more likely to allow the child to spend extra time with non-custodial parents as time passes and if the other parent is pleasant to them.

 

Categories: child custody, Child Custody Advice, Child custody case, Child Custody Dispute, Custody Agreements

Making the Most of Standard Visitation Schedules

Ultimately, a child’s custody arrangements should be determined by the child’s parents. Parents know their child better than anyone. They are familiar with the child’s routine, the child’s needs, and their own particular circumstances.

Ideally, parents should be able to put their differences aside and work together for the sake of their child to create a child visitation schedule.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are thousands of children who end up with standard custody agreements because their parents were unwilling or unable to create a customized custody plan for them.

A typical standard visitation schedule will give the non-custodial parent visitation with the child every other weekend and one evening a week. This arrangement may seem unfair to many people. This type of arrangement may feel as if one parent is more important in the child’s life than the other one, since one parent will have the child the majority of the time.

If you are faced with a standard visitation schedule, there are ways to make the most of the time you spend with your child.

The first thing you should consider doing is to make sure you are able to spend the allotted amount of time with your child. If your child is spending portions of the time he or she is supposed to be spending with you in daycare, you should rearrange your work schedule so you are free to spend time with your child instead of working.

You should clear your social calendar so that you are not away from your child when it is your weekend. This doesn’t mean you should sit home and do nothing because you have your child for the weekend. If you do make plans, make sure your child is included in them. Playing eighteen holes of golf is not as important as spending that same amount of time with your child. Things like that can wait for your free weekends.

The way you look at the amount of time you have to spend with your child can have an impact on your attitude and mood. If you are upset or angry about the custody schedule, your child will likely be affected by your negative feelings.

Consider this: If your child is in school, the other parent will spend every week day morning getting your child ready for school and weekday evenings feeding your child, getting her homework done, and getting her ready for bed. Unless your ex happens to be your child’s teacher, he or she will not be spending time with your child when she is in school. The week will be spent getting through the routine.

If your ex works full-time during the week and your child is in school, the time your child spends with him or her will be routine. The weekend is when your child will have to opportunity to spend quality time with both parents.

A parent following the every other weekend / one evening a week schedule will have the opportunity to see their child ten days in a four week period. Ten days doesn’t seem like enough, but when you consider you are getting half of your child’s free time (the weekends) and that the other parent doesn’t have much time to spend with the child in the middle of the week, either, it doesn’t seem that bad.

Most standard custody arrangements provide the non-custodial parent with liberal communication with the child. You can still talk to your child on a daily basis even if you can’t see him every day.

Once the initial emotions that come with divorce have calmed down, you may find that your ex is willing to give you more time with the child. Regardless of your visitation schedule, you should make the most of every minute you have with your child.

 

Categories: child custody, Child Custody Advice, Child custody case, Child Custody Questions, Child Custody Schedule, Custody Arrangements

Creating the Perfect Temporary Visitation Schedule

In a perfect world, there would be no divorce. People would get married, have children, stay together forever, and sit out on a front porch swing watching their grandchildren playing in the yard.

In a perfect world, even if there was divorce, parents would be able to sit down together and draft the custody arrangements for their children. Their excellent communication skills and ability to compromise would enable them to create a custody agreement that fulfilled all of the needs of their children. There wouldn’t be a need for divorce lawyers and going to court would be a minor inconvenience.

Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. Half of marriages end in divorce, and many families are broken up. Chances are if a couple was able to communicate and compromise in the first place, they would not be ending their marriage.

Divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved, especially the children. Many children feel caught in the middle of their parents’ chaos and some even blame themselves for causing the divorce.

Parents who truly care about the children will do everything they can in order to minimize the negative effects of the divorce. Good parents will be able to put their personal feelings aside and would not use their children as weapons to harm the other parent. They would not use the custody of their children as a method of financial extortion or deprivation.

When you file for divorce or custody of your child, you will be required to submit custody arrangements and a temporary visitation schedule to provide for the custody and care of your child until a custody order is finalized. A good way to make sure that you are looking out for the best interest of your child is to create a temporary custody agreement that is fair to both parents and the child.

Creating a temporary visitation schedule is your opportunity to prove to the court, your ex, and your child that you care about your child’s needs and you want what is best for her. There are too many parents who charge into court with a vendetta against the other parent. They try to get sole custody of their child in order to hurt the other parent.  What they fail to realize is that in trying to hurt the other parent, they are actually hurting their child.

A good parent will realize that children need both parents in their lives.  The old, generic, “every other weekend” visitation schedule is outdated and does not allow the child to spend enough time with the other parent.

An “every other weekend” visitation schedule forces children to have to wait two weeks in between “visits” with the other parent. Children should not have to feel like visitors in a parent’s home. They should be able to have liberal contact with both parents and should be able to be raised by two parents.

If you wouldn’t want to wait two weeks between visits with your child, why would you wish that upon the other parent? Your temporary visitation schedule should provide your child with frequent, ongoing contact with each of you.

You shouldn’t feel obligated to follow any standardized schedule. As your child’s parents, the court allows you the freedom to create your own custody arrangements. The court will approve your custody agreement if both of you agree to the plan and it meets the needs of your child.

It is likely that the court will adopt the temporary visitation schedule at the conclusion of your case. You should take the time to create the right schedule for your child.  If not, you will spend a lot of time in the courtroom litigating the custody of your child. You may also lose the ability to retain control of your child’s custody arrangements if the court feels the need to step in and make them for you.

Your plan may not be perfect. You may need to make adjustments to the visitation schedule or modify your temporary custody agreement as your case progresses. If you start out with good intentions, it is very likely that you will be pleased with the end result, which will be the perfect custody schedule for your child.

Categories: Child Custody Advice, Child custody case, Temporary Child Custody

Considerations of Temporary Custody Agreements

The best interest of the child is the main concern of family courts in child custody cases. The court will consider all of the relevant factors that have an effect on the child’s physical and emotional well-being.

Some of the factors the court considers when determining what is in the best interest of a child are the history of the child’s care, the child’s acclimation to his or her home, school, and community, and the stability of the child’s life.

If a child has been primarily cared for by one parent, predominately lives with that parent after the separation, and has developed a close bond with that parent, it is highly unlikely that the court will decide to uproot the child at the request of the other parent unless the primary caretaker has done something to harm or endanger the child.

When parents live together, they each have their own roles in the child’s life. The fact that one parent may act as the child’s primary caregiver, especially if one parent has stayed at home while the other parent worked, is not enough of a reason to simply award sole custody to that parent when their relationship ends.

Each parent brings their own attributes to the child’s life. When a family is broken up by divorce or separation, it does not mean that either parent is more important in the child’s life. Both should still be able to function in their roles as parents to their child.

When a couple decides to divorce, one parent will usually move out of the family home or a parent may move out of the home with the child. The parent that remains with the child may have an advantage in the custody case, simply because the court will want to preserve the continuity of the child’s care.

The fact that one parent chose to leave should not be held against him or her. Someone obviously had to be the one to go. It is a normal occurrence when relationships end. However, when you consider how the court will view maintaining routine in the child’s life, creating a good temporary custody agreement from the onset of the custody case will help protect the rights of both parents.

When you file for divorce or custody of your child, you will be required to submit a custody agreement and a temporary visitation schedule to the court. The temporary schedule will be in effect until your case is finalized and you have a permanent custody order. 

Temporary custody agreements may be modified during the course of the custody proceedings, but you should try to create the schedule as if it will become permanent. In fact, it is common for temporary agreements to become permanent at the conclusion of the case.

If you are the one who initially files for custody of your child, you will have the power to request the initial child visitation schedule. If you are the respondent in the custody case, you will have the opportunity to request your own schedule. The judge will decide which schedule seems best for your child. You will also be given the opportunity to work together on a custody plan later on, in mediation.

If you submit a proposed custody agreement that is fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of your child, the judge will be more inclined to rule in your favor than if you submit a plan that is selfish and possibly detrimental to the child. Your personal feelings toward the other parent should be set aside as your focus on what is best for your child.

You should keep in mind that your custody case does not have to turn into a custody battle. If you are considering divorce, you may want to try discussing your child’s care and custody with the other parent and try to work something out before you even file. A little communication and compromise can go a long way and can make your dissolution a lot less stressful.

Categories: child custody, Temporary Child Custody

The Benefits of Joint Custody Agreements

Many people fight long and hard to get sole custody of their children. Sometimes, they have valid reasons, such as abuse or neglect.  Other times, people do it out of spite in an effort to use their children as a weapon in order to hurt the other parent. Some people will even do it to get out of paying child support or in an effort to get more child support.

If you are a rational person, you will recognize joint custody as a viable option for your family. There are many benefits of sharing custody of your child with your ex.

The main reason for sharing custody with the other parent is to do what is best for your child. Children need two good parents in their lives.  As long as both parents are fit, willing, and able, the child will benefit tremendously by having both of them in his or her life. The best interest of your child should be the focus of your joint custody agreement.

Another reason for having joint custody is co-parenting.  You do not have to live with the other parent in order to co-parent. Once your relationship with your ex develops from a formerly romantic relationship to a parental one, you can start playing on the same team. Getting along with the ex may not be easy or pleasant, at first, but it is what is best for your child. Creating a united from is essential if you want to have a well-adjusted child. Act as a team.

As you create your joint custody agreement, you will need to establish the rules that you both intend to follow as you raise your child apart. If you follow those rules and parent in a manner that is consistent with each other, your child will be better behaved and adjusted. If he or she knows that the same rules apply, regardless of which parent he or she is with, your child will be less likely to act out and try to pit the two of you against each other.

Parents that share joint custody are more likely to rely on each other for support.  Parenting is not a right. It is a responsibility. Both parents should be responsible for taking care of their child. The phrase “Disneyland Dad” stems from the fact that a lot of mother’s have custody of their children. They feed them, bathe them, nurture, and raise them.

Meanwhile, the father sees the children every other weekend, spoils them rotten, and then sends them back to mom where they are expected to do homework and chores.  A situation like this vilifies one parent and makes a hero out of the other one. Creating a united front gives your child balance.

When you have joint custody, you will need to learn to rely on each other. Take turns missing work when your child is sick. Call the other parent if you need back-up discipline. Follow your joint custody visitation schedule in order to provide your child with stability and security, but be flexible when you should.

Parents who have joint custody of their children also have the convenience of childless freedom. Use the time your child spends with the other parent to rejuvenate yourself and make time for you. Ask for help or a break when you need it.

When parents are able to work out an agreement and treat each other with respect and dignity, it benefits the parents as well as the children. Reaching an agreement will alleviate some of the stress that people are feeling. If you seem agitated with your custody situation, that negativity will affect your child, as well. Creating a customized joint child visitation schedule and custody agreement is one of the best things you can do for your kids.

Categories: child custody, Child Custody Advice, Joint custody

Joint Custody Visitation Schedules – Dividing Your Child’s Time

If you and your ex decide you are going to share custody of your child, you have made a wise decision.

Quite often, parents fight over custody of their children. Sometimes both of them want sole custody and the result is a long, drawn out custody battle.  It’s not good for the children and neither is the hostile attitudes and stress that may occur as a result of their failure to reach an agreement.

When parents are mature enough and selfless enough to agree to a joint custody agreement, it indicates that they both have their child’s best interests at heart. Children deserve to spend plenty of time with both of their parents. Joint custody allows children of divorced parents to feel as if they have two parents, not just a parent and a visitor.

If you have agreed to share joint custody but cannot seem to decide on a joint custody visitation schedule, you are not alone. Many parents have trouble creating a specific agreement or don’t even know where to start.

Your parenting time schedule should be based on a variety of factors.

The main deciding factor should be the needs and the best interest of your child. You should create a plan that allows your child to have continued, ongoing access to both of you. The schedule should establish a routine and make your child feel secure.

Your child’s school may be a factor in how you decide to divide your child’s time. You should consider the feasibility of each parent’s ability to transport the child to and from school.  If one parent lives just blocks from the school and the other parent has a half hour drive, it would make more sense that the child would spend more time with the parent who lives closer to the school, at least while school is in session. 

However, if the other parent has a half an hour drive to get to the child’s school but it is on her way to work, the extra distance would not be a significant factor in the decision as long as the child could get home from school easily.

Your employment will also have an effect on your visitation schedule. You should want to make the most out of the time you have your child. Placing the child in daycare or in the care of some other third party while a parent is at work (and the other parent is available) is not only as excessive expense, it also deprives the child of spending that time with the parent who is free.

Your child’s age and maturity level should also have an effect on your schedule. It is very rare for parents of infants to have a 50/50 joint custody agreement, even though an infant should be able to have the opportunity to bond with both parents. A school age child would be better equipped to handle more time away from her primary care giver than a baby would.

The bottom-line is to try to create the best plan for your child. Make sure the plan is customized to meet your child’s needs and stick to it. A lot of the process involves common sense. You know your child better than anyone and are the best people for the task of creating his joint custody agreement.

 

Categories: child custody, Child Custody Advice, Joint custody, Visitation Calendar

Sole Custody Agreements and Visitation Schedules—Protecting Your Child

It is an unfortunate fact of life that some people are horrible parents. The news is littered with stories of horrific abuse and unimaginable neglect. Parents should nurture and protect their children, not harm them. If your ex is abusive, neglectful, or otherwise harmful to your child’s physical and/or mental well-being, you need to protect your child from the other parent. Sole custody is one of the best ways to do this.

Getting sole custody is not as easy as walking into the courtroom, telling the judge what your ex has done, and walking out with a court order. So many people file for sole custody for the wrong reasons that the people with legitimate cases have to struggle and fight for it. Getting sole custody of your child could turn out to be a long battle. You are going to have to supply the court with enough proof of the other parent’s wrongdoing to solidify your case.

Ryan and his wife Yvette separated when their son, William, was two months old. Within a few days, Yvette filed for sole custody of the baby out of spite. Within a few months, Ryan began to have serious concerns about the safety and well-being of his child.

The first incident occurred when Ryan went to pick up the baby for the weekend. He knocked on the door and no one answered.  As he was leaving, he saw his baby. Yvette had left the baby in his stroller at the pool in the apartment complex. No one was watching him. Yvette showed up a few minutes later. She had left the baby at the pool while she went to get her nails done.

Ryan was mortified. He took the baby home. What he should have done was call the police and child protective services. Instead, he had no documentation of the incident.

A few weeks later, the bruises started showing up. The baby had multiple bruises on his back and legs. “He fell.” You expect to see bruises on the shins of a toddler, not on the back of a five month old baby. In hindsight, Ryan should have documented every incident with photographs and doctor visits, and should have called CPS. Instead, again, it was his word against hers.

The incidences of abuse and neglect began mounting. Ryan realized there was definitely a problem and went to court ex parte to get sole custody of his infant son.  Instead, Ryan’s request was denied. He didn’t have proof of anything. Additionally, Yvette became so enraged that she refused to comply with the visitation order and Ryan didn’t see his son for months.

The abuse and neglect got worse and continued. Yvette had another baby with another man. The baby was removed by the state after a family member called CPS on her. She had thrown her baby across the room, into a wall.

When CPS came to remove the baby, William was not with her at the time. Yvette evaded them until they closed the case. She evaded CPS on three other occasions, as well. CPS actually substantiated that William had been abused but since Yvette refused to answer her door, they were unable to name her as the abuser. They closed each case.

William suffered at the hands of his mother until he was two and a half years old. Thankfully, the judge, who had grown weary of the couple, ordered them to see a family counselor together.

The counselor listened to their stories. Then, she went above and beyond, and actually went to each parent’s home for surprise visits. Ryan’s home was a clean, healthy environment. Yvette’s apartment had sewage on the floor of the bathroom. The toilet had backed up and Yvette refused to the manager call for maintenance since her boyfriend had punched so many holes in the wall. There was a lit cigarette on the coffee table despite the fact that William’s doctor had said he was allergic to cigarette smoke. There was hardly any food in the house. Yvette’s home was no place for a child.

The counselor was ultimately responsible for placing William in the sole custody of his father. She found proof that couldn’t be brought into a courtroom. She had Yvette and Ryan sign a sole custody agreement in her office the next day and William was placed in his father’s care due to abuse and neglect.

Despite everything, Yvette was still allowed to see William. The sole custody visitation schedule granted her visitation on Mondays, from 9 to 5. After a few months, she eventually stopped coming.

If you need to file for sole custody in order to protect your child, get proof. Not everyone is going to have someone as dutiful as the counselor in William’s case. You should do whatever you can to ensure your child is safe and protected. No child should have to suffer at the hands of their own parent.

Categories: Child Custody Advice, Child Custody Dispute, Child Custody Schedule, Child Visitation Schedule, Custody Agreements

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