Shelton Child Custody Lawyer 

Few legal issues are as emotionally difficult as sorting out custody of your child. This situation can arise either after the birth of a child or when parents end their relationship. In both circumstances, speaking with an experienced Shelton child custody lawyer can help ease your concerns regarding your child.

Even if you would prefer handling custody outside of court, it would be helpful to speak with a competent family law attorney so you are fully aware of what rights you have.

How to File for Custody

In order to begin a custody or visitation petition, an individual will have to fill out the correct forms. Additionally, depending on their circumstances, the parent may have to fill out an order to attend the hearing and notice to the respondent, a notice of automatic orders, an affidavit concerning children, and an appearance. To make sure they are filling out these forms accurately, a person should get advice from a Shelton child custody lawyer so that they get everything they want from the custody agreement.

In an extreme situation, an individual can ask the court to grant an emergency ex parte order of custody. This usually occurs if a parent feels that they need immediate, emergency custody of their child because the other parent is a current physical or psychological threat to the child. Speaking to a local Shelton child custody lawyer in this situation can be helpful if someone truly feels like their child is in danger.

Custody Modification

Sometimes, people may agree to a custody arrangement when they first separate or when their child is young, but that agreement may not work later. In that situation, a person might want to look into a modification to change their custody agreement.

Some circumstances that can lead to a parent asking for a modification include a move to another city or state, a significant change in living situations, or if the child is older and wants to live with the other parent.

Usually, the parent asking for the modification has to prove that there is enough of a change to rearrange the custody agreement. Having a lawyer can help someone present their reasons for a modification and why they would be beneficial to their child.

Custody vs Visitation

During the creation of a custody agreement, generally one parent will be the custodial parent and the other will be the non-custodial parent. Both parents have equal rights to their child. The custodial parent is the parent the child primarily lives with. The non-custodial parent then has rights to visitation. If one parent and the other parent are not able to come to an agreement regarding custody or visitation, speaking with an experienced Shelton child custody lawyer can extremely helpful.

When deciding custody, the legal standard used by the courts is the best interest of the child. Some of the factors the court may look at including the mental and physical health of the parents, who the child wants to live with, the needs of the children, and the interaction between the child and parents.

If the other parent will not let a parent exercise their right to visitation, they may have to return to court, even if they already have a custody and visitation agreement. This can happen if the other parent refuses to allow an individual to pick up their child or shortens their visitation by consistently being unreasonably late by hours or days. A Shelton child custody lawyer can help individuals in court to ask that the court enforce the visitation agreement they have.

Establishing Paternity

One of the first steps in obtaining custody or visitation is to establish paternity. Paternity can be established in three ways: voluntary acknowledgment, paternity testing, or marital presumption.

Voluntary acknowledgment is when a father wants to acknowledge that he is the father by signing a form when the child is born, claiming paternity. Either parent has the option to ask the court for a paternity test if they are unsure of paternity.

If a couple is married when the child is conceived, the presumption is that the husband at the time is the father.

How a Shelton Child Custody Lawyer Can Help

Whether you are going through a divorce, modifying an existing agreement, or trying to establish custody over a newborn, speaking with a lawyer will help you figure out all the options you have.

Even if you would prefer reaching an agreement outside of court, having a Shelton child custody lawyer explain your rights to you can help you in figuring out what you can ask for in your agreement.