You and your child’s other parent may not agree on everything when it comes to where your children should live, where they should go to school, or how they should be raised. However, if you cannot come to an agreement on what is in your child’s best interests, a judge who does not know your family will be left with the responsibility to make a decision.
We think these decisions are best handled by parents.
At the Buffalo law office of D. Daniel Stevanovic, Esq., we believe that child custody is not about winning and losing. It is about finding a solution that is in the best interest of the children and respects the parental rights of both parents. Our founding attorney has been resolving these issues for more than 25 years and can help you put the pieces of your parenting puzzle together.
Thinking About Your Future
Although you are divorcing, you will likely continue as co-parents for years to come. What tone would be set for that relationship by engaging in a bitter and costly child custody battle? What impact would that have on your children?
In our experience, the most important thing you can do is protect your children during your divorce or custody dispute, and be flexible. No parent will get everything they want out of a custody agreement, the key is to find a solution that you can live with so you can move forward.
Child Custody Solutions
In most cases, both of you will have joint legal custody, sharing in the decision-making process about your child’s health, education and upbringing. The primary issue is where the child will live:
- One of you will be the primary residential parent (custodial parent). The noncustodial parent will have scheduled access (visitation) and typically child support obligations.
- Shared (joint) custody, an approximate 50-50 split in parenting time, is increasingly popular. The higher-earning parent will often pay child support, but at a reduced rate.
If you have agreed on who gets custody, we can help negotiate and draft the specifics regarding pickup/drop-off schedules, vacations and holidays, school, day care, etc. This is incorporated into the property settlement and separation agreement, and submitted for court approval.
If custody is contested, we will serve as a strong and capable advocate throughout your legal proceedings. In Erie County, the majority of custodial disputes are resolved through the expedited matrimonial system. We can either negotiate on your behalf or prepare you for voluntary mediation. If the other parent continues to be unreasonable and no settlement is reached, we will vigorously protect your interests and those of your child in superior court litigation.