About Child Custody and Visitation


There are two kinds of child custody:

            1) LEGAL CUSTODY

            2) PHYSICAL CUSTODY (Visitation Time)

LEGAL CUSTODY:

            1) School or child care

            2) Religious activities

            3) Medical care (including mental health counseling, dental, etc.)

            4) Travel

            5) Where the child(ren) will live

            6) Extracurricular activities

Legal custody may also be joint legal custody, where both parents share the rights to make the important decisions such as those listed above. It is best when parents can work together to make the decisions. To avoid problems, parents may want to go to a co-parenting class. Lists of local co-parenting classes can be found by a web search. If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent you may need to go to Court. Nakos and Nakos can help you prepare the paperwork for the Court and can represent you through the process, which includes mandated mediation and any appearance in front of a Judge.

PHYSICAL CUSTODY: With physical custody, the parents work out a visitation schedule detailing when the child(ren) spend time with each parent. If you cannot work out a visitation schedule with the other parent, then you can go to Court to have the Judge order a visitation schedule. First, you will have to go to mandated mediation to try and work out a plan with a skilled mediator. If your child is over 6 years old, he or she will talk to the mediator. If no agreement can be reached in mediation, the mediator will make a recommendation to the Court. You will then go to the courtroom to see the Judge and he/she will listen to each parent (or their attorney) as to what the parent thinks is best for their child(ren). The Judge will then make orders as to what he/she believes is in the best interest of the child. It is best for your child(ren) if you can work out a visitation plan without court intervention. Nakos & Nakos is very skilled at working with both parents (or if the other parent has an attorney, with that attorney) to work out a parenting plan that is fair and that is in the best interest of the child(ren). If an out of court parenting plan cannot be agreed to, Nakos & Nakos can fight for what you think is best for your child(ren).

COURT: Be very careful in preparing the paperwork for Court. The mediators and Judges read the paperwork and you do not want to say the wrong things and you want to organize what you write in a way that the mediator and the Judge will understand and care about. We can help you prepare the paperwork, even if we don’t represent you in court. Or, you can have us prepare the paperwork and represent you in court.