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Family Law Attorneys Help With Child Custody, Visitation & Support

As a parent, you naturally want the best for your children, even as you and your spouse go your separate ways. It’s important to find a good child custody lawyer to assist in working out the custody and visitation arrangement, the child support agreement and determining the future of your children as they are impacted by your divorce. Here are some reasons why a family law attorney can facilitate the process and help modify your child custody agreement in the future to focus on your child’s best interests.

Determining Child Support

After deciding on child custody arrangements, making sure that your child will be cared for financially with all that is necessary to cover their material needs is of the utmost importance. Without the knowledge and guidance of a family law attorney, you may not know how much you are entitled to receive, or you may not know how much you are responsible for paying. Monthly child support payments are determined by state guidelines based on the combined gross monthly income of both parents, with variations in obligatory amounts depending on custody arrangements, specifically, the number of days the child(ren) is with each parent and the cost of the work-related child care costs and the differential paid to cover the children on health and dental insurance. There are limited opportunities for deviation from the guideline support based on factors set forth in the Code of Virginia.

Experience with the Process

A family law attorney with years of experience has familiarity with the issues and factors that influence the process of determining child custody, visitation and child support. Your attorney will be prepared for potential outcomes, and they will be able to anticipate what the other party and his or her attorney might say. First-hand knowledge of the process and years of experience guide family law attorneys in helping determine what’s best for the children and efficiently identifying how to proceed and what information to pull together for a favorable result. This is particularly important since unexpected facts or requests from the other parent could come up. An experienced family law attorney would be able to navigate through potential drawbacks and various scenarios to help you get the most positive results that are in the best interests of your children.

Skillful Negotiating Abilities

Statistics show that approximately 95% of child custody cases are settled outside of the courtroom. This means that the details of these cases are not decided by a judge, but rather by the parents of the children. This process is facilitated by a family lawyer who manages the negotiation, helps the client generate options and discuss possible schedules, drafts the final agreement, and then files the signed paperwork with the court. It’s preferred for the parents to make these important determinations about child custody, visitation and child support but it can be difficult for both parties to overcome competing priorities and differing opinions to determine the best arrangements for their children. It’s important to have an attorney who is able to negotiate effectively and can skillfully guide you to a reasonable resolution. Having an attorney who is familiar with both the practical and legal requirements for drafting child custody and child support agreements will reduce the possibility of an unenforceable or impractical outcome. Spending the time to negotiate and craft carefully considered arrangements protects the best interests of your children while avoiding costly litigation.

Comfortable in the Courtroom

Being prepared is the key to confidence. If your divorce proceedings wind up in litigation, your family law attorney will be at ease in the courtroom because they will know what to anticipate. This will help the process of providing information on any claims or questions that may arise since the attorney will have assisted you in assembling the background and evidence and will have prepared the relevant details and information. A judge will consider the facts and make a ruling in the best interest of the children, meaning you must have proof and facts to back up your claims. Past experience in litigating child custody and visitation matters provides context that informs how your family law attorney presents the information and evidence and advocates for a ruling in your favor.

In addition, if in the future you or your spouse wish to change your custody agreement, you will already have an attorney who understands the situation and your position. The main reasons why a judge would decide to change a custody agreement would be if there has been a material change or changes in circumstances, whether that of the parents or the children, and the change warrants a modification in the best interests of the children. If you previously engaged a lawyer in your original custody case, it may make the process of modifying the custody agreement easier on all parties if you re-engage that same attorney.

As you navigate these proceedings, you should know that approximately 27% (22.4 million) of children and young adults under the age of 21 are being raised by single parents. You’re not alone, and you can rely on a child custody attorney to assist you in determining the best outcome for your children and the best means of achieving that objective. The guidance and direction that a family law attorney can provide may have an impact on your child’s wellbeing for many years to come. Contact Hite Kaminsky Family Law today to learn how we can support you during this time.