Sunday, January 18, 2015

Visitation, Custody and Parenting Time Attorney

As a very general rule, family law attorneys try to encourage compromise and cooperation on custody, visitation, and parenting time issues, thereby helping clients transition into healthy co-parenting relationships. 

The "ideal" custody/visitation scenario consists of parents agreeing on joint custody between themselves, but with each consulting counsel so as to make an informed decision, with both parents staying within the same school district, working locally, with roughly 50/50 parenting time (which can be structure in several ways to fit their situation).  Child support is statutory, with appropriate adjustments when necessary to ensure that the children are properly provided for in both households. 

This ideal scenario is often not appropriate, whether due to practical limitations (i.e. residence, work schedule, the children's needs and comfort, etc.), or parenting concerns (the child's best interests being served, for whatever reason, with one parent serving as a primary caretaker and/or decision-maker).  The question is always the best interest of the child, and most cases involve either a failure of communication or a good faith dispute over parenting issues, not whether the other parent is so troubled and dispicable of a human being that should have less influence over their progeny

Even with two loving and responsible parents, it is at times appropriate -- based on the children's needs -- to emphasize quality over quantity and recommend unequal parenting time.  Making the best of a compromise can often be better, in the long run, than the direct and indirect damage caused to children heated and protracted custody battles.

Every situation and every set of parents and children are vastly different.  Family law is possibly the most case-specific area of law.  People in ostensibly identical situations will have wildly divergent experiences.  Personality plays a huge role, and Family Court and matrimonial judges have substantial discretion to determine issues on a case-by-case basis.

Family law is also possibly the most contentious area of law, with parents -- at the same time as they are often dealing with highly-emotional issues between themselves -- fighting over what they feel is best for their children.  

As a family law and matrimonial attorney, I have become particularly adept at facilitating amicable settlements.  My personality is well suited towards consiliatory discussion.  Generally, I am patient, deliberate, slow to anger, empathetic, matter of fact, and not easily distracted by ancillary issues. 

At the same time, however, I can be an effective, aggressive, and ruthless litigator.  I honed my skills as a trial attorney by handling jury trials in personal injury cases, obtaining multiple six-figure verdicts , and working on trial teams that resulted in several seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements. 

When necessary, I have no problem "being the bad guy" and holding a firm position, and I won't hesitate to take a case to trial where appropriate.  

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