What You Need to Know and Understand About Child Custody

Child custody can be one of the most contentious issues to be resolved when parent’s divorce. At Gaydos Duffer, P.C., our attorneys work closely with our clients to help them understand what child custody and possession means. We encourage you to work with your spouse and agree on a parenting plan without court intervention.

Some clients come to us full of resentment against their spouse that they want to punish them by keeping them from spending time with the children. We explain to them that the hurt and sorrow they have experienced in the relationship really has nothing to do with the other parent’s constitutional right to spend time with their children.

The only reasons for withholding a parent’s time with the children is if there is alcohol or drug abuse or incidents of domestic violence, or if there has been physical violence or sexual assault against the children. Otherwise, the parent’s right to spend time with the children must be acknowledged.

When Parents Agree to a Parenting Plan

If parents can agree on a parenting plan, they have flexibility that will work in the best interest of the children in addition to one that will work with the parent’s schedule. For example, if one parent has an unusual work schedule, such as a paramedic or fireman, the time with the children can be arranged to be on the parent’s day or week off work.

When parents can recognize that a parenting plan should focus on the children, and not on the needs of the parent, they can make a possession plan that is flexible. They can change weekends and negotiate the time at which the children need to be dropped off at the home of the custodial parent.

Parents can make a plan that considers the needs of the children as they get older and have their own needs and social plans. Parents can also agree, among other things, how they spend holiday times with the children.

When Courts Decide on Parental Possession Issues

Family law courts do not have much flexibility when issuing child custody orders. The non-custodial parent will have possession every other weekend from Friday 6:00 p.m. until Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. Every Thursday, the parent will have possession from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Parents will alternate holidays. For example, one year a parent will have Thanksgiving with the children. The next year, the holiday will be spent with the other parent.

Contact us at Gaydos Duffer. Although we can only represent one parent, we can work together with the parent and his or her attorney to put together a parenting plan that will be workable for both parents and the children.