An Overview of How a Family Law Attorney Supports Cases of Child Custody
Whether you are filing for legal separation, or have been served with divorce papers yourself, separation is never easy. It can be emotionally draining, frustrating, and sometimes, carry on for years. This is especially true when children are involved and custody must be decided. If you have children with your partner and would like to either file for divorce or need to respond to a petition of divorce, you will need to hire an experienced family law attorney. With the right experience, your lawyer will do their best to make sure your voice as a parent is well represented.
Are you considering a divorce or currently in search of an attorney? Do you live in the Worcester, MA area? Murphy & Rudolf, LLP will provide you aggressive and experienced legal representation. Do not hesitate to call for a free consultation: (508) 570-3037.
Divorce, Family Law Attorneys, & Child Custody
Child custody is not exclusively a divorce issue. Often, upon separation, unmarried couples will have to figure out custody arrangements for their children. However, for this specific article, we will focus on child custody in regards to divorce.
Upon the judge’s granting of the divorce, the legal decree will also include the terms of custody over the child. What the terms are, and how the couple (or court) reaches that decision has a lot to do with the specific case and individuals involved. Any family law attorney knows that when separation is amicable, issues relating to custody of their children are easily settled between the parents. However, too often is the case that even through mediation, custody battles get taken to court.
Child Custody Is Not Gender-Dependent
There are common perceptions and narratives that judges and custody laws tend to favor the side of the mother. Though it was once true, this trend largely waned as gender roles began to break and restructure. Now, when left to the court to decide, custody is largely based on the child’s best interest. It is a misconception that is based on older norms. Preferential custody laws no longer exist.
When custody of a child is litigated in court, the judge will base their decision on factors like the child’s specific needs, other sibling relationships, upholding consistency in the child or children’s’ lives, etc. Unlike some other states, however, Massachusetts does not take into consideration the child’s preference.
Part of what earns child custody cases the title of “custody battles” falls on how family law attorneys must build their case. A family law attorney can often work alongside mediators in order to avoid going to court. However, if that does not work, the judge will discern what is best for the child based on factors such as*:
- Which of you is more likely to take care of the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of your child
- Which of you is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with your child
- Which of you is more likely to encourage and allow frequent contact between your child and the other parent
- Do either of the parents have previous criminal charges or convictions, or any other previous histories of physical, drug or alcohol abuse
*Examples from FindLaw
It is for this reason to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney represent you in your child custody case. A fit family law attorney will be able to both build your solid case, but also know how to field the aggressive defense of your ex.
So, if you do find yourself considering a divorce and have children to consider, it is crucial to find a lawyer who can best guide and support you through the process. If you are in or near Worcester, MA, contact the attorneys at Murphy and Rudolf, LLP for a free consultation: (508) 570-3037.