What Does a Child Custody Attorney Do?
Parents who wish to obtain custody of their child should hire a lawyer to get legal custody. Lawyers are often used to get custody on behalf of their clients or seek to establish custody. Most states follow a child rights principle, dictating the best interests of the child. This means that dozens of different factors are taken into consideration when determining custody. An experienced custody lawyer understands these factors and how to best use them to your advantage. A lawyer can help with mediating an agreement if possible, or in the case of a disagreement, file applicable legal paperwork and represent your interests in court. Given that there is a lot at stake in custody hearings, a lawyer should be consulted with to ensure the best possible chance at a positive outcome.
Family Law Courts and Joint Custody
Until a custody hearing has occurred, both parents have equal rights to custody of the child. In Oregon, courts cannot order joint custody unless both parents are in agreement. This means that sole physical custody is granted to one parent, with a possibility of parenting time being granted to the other.
Can a Custody Attorney Help Change the Custody Agreement?
A child custody attorney may be able to help you obtain more parenting time or adjust the custody agreement through what is known as a Motion for Modification of General Judgment of Custody. However, the most important time to decide upon custody and parenting time is during the original custody hearing. It is not an easy task to make significant changes after the fact. In many cases, the courts will not want to disrupt the child’s life again. If you want custody, be sure to work with your attorney during the custody proceeding. Unless you have a significant reason or change in circumstances like child endangerment, it is unlikely that a major change to custody will happen after the parenting plan has been legally established.