Child Custody Lawyer: Deciding What is Best for your Children
Determining Child Custody and Access
The issue of child custody and access are often the most important issues to be resolved in a family law case. “Custody” refers to who is going to make the major decisions regarding a child’s education, religious upbringing and medical issues. In a joint custodial situation, the parents make the decision together, whereas when one parent has sole custody that parent makes these decisions, while the other parent has access to information regarding the child. On occasion, an arrangement called “parallel parenting” is awarded, whereby decision-making authority is divided between the parents (e.g., one parent makes all medical decisions while the other parent makes all major educational decisions). “Access” refers to the parenting schedule (i.e., the time that each parent has with the child).
For both custody and access, the test is: What is in the best interests of the child? There are many factors associated with this test such as:
- The bond and emotional ties between the child and the parent, other members of the family who reside with the child, and other persons involved in the child’s care and upbringing;
- Whether there has been any violence or abuse;
- The child’s views and preferences if they can be reasonably ascertained;
- The length of time that the child has lived in a stable home environment;
- The plan proposed by each person for the child’s care and upbringing;
- The permanence and stability of the family unit with which it is proposed that the child will live, and many other factors.
Generally, the guiding principle for access is that each parent should have maximum contact with the child in accordance with the best interests of the child. Access may be unsupervised or supervised depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
For deciding whether or not the parents should have joint custody, the court often considers how well the parties are able to communicate with each other regarding the child.
There are many factors that determine custody and access issues of a case. The lawyers at Chapman McAlpine Law are aware of how important these issues are for parents and can provide creative and practical solutions for the custody and access issues that you face. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the custody and/or access issues of your case please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help.
Kara-Lynne worked so quickly and efficiently to do the very best and get me to a place where I now know I have something to count on when I retire. In family law matters having someone standing beside you, guiding you and representing you and your best interest can make such a difference as you go through the process. She is a one in a million lawyer that I continue to recommend to anyone who is need.
Absolutely AMAZING team!! Not only do they accommodate my crazy work schedule, but Kara, Barry, and Paul actually work with me on my case to ensure my kids are coming first. They’re always available when I need them and their dedication to their clients is bar none, and I don’t know where I would be without them! I cannot say enough good things about everyone who works here and recommend them to anyone who is in need of a family lawyer!
I came to Chapman McAlpine Law after phone calls with many other law firms, but once I spoke to Paul, the level of comfort I had, I decided to canceled my other appointments. The attention to details, and level of attentiveness I’ve received from Kara-Lynne Chapman is unfounded. I now feel like I’m not going through this fight on my own. I know she’ll clarify anything I don’t understand, and walk me through everything.
“Allison McAlpine did a great job at making me feel comfortable throughout the whole court process. I originally worked with her when she was first with a prior firm and now she is executing the same skill set at her own firm for a much more affordable price!!! As a father dealing with Family Court, I would 100% retain her again.
I hired Kara Chapman for my divorce and various following motions. I can’t say enough about how incredibly professional, honest, thoughtful and considerate she was. She made the legal aspect of the experience much easier and I could always rely on her opinion and expertise.
Kara-Lynne is determined, motivated and very compassionate. Her knowledge on family law is extensive. She works hard for her clients. She successfully helped me receive what was best for my children. I was awarded more than I originally thought I would; which was a huge relief.
Kara is very professional and will go the extra mile for her client. She will always fight for her client and will not back down until a reasonable agreement is reached. You’re in good hands with Kara on your side.
Allison and Paul have been quite expedient, informative and have shown genuine concern for my situation. I appreciate all of your efforts, upholding my confidence in your team to represent me in the best manner possible. Thank you.
I am very thankful that I found Allison. She listened with compassion, provided sound advice and was very proactive in getting resolution to a difficult situation. Working with Allison was absolutely life changing. I highly recommend Allison and her staff.
I would sincerely like to thank Allison McAlpine and Chapman McAlpine Law for representing me during a very difficult and lengthy separation. Allison’s support, patience and legal acumen most certainly guided me through the process to a satisfactory end result and I can now move forward with a new chapter in my life.
Often in times of need, it is very important to work with professionals; who are attentive, who are smart and who are willing to listen with compassion, honesty and integrity. Allison and Paul were all of these and more. They typically went above and beyond, and provided excellent service, guidance and support. They were efficient, accurate and prompt making me feel comfortable throughout the process, as well as showed respect for my time too.