Child custody, if contested during a divorce, is a horror that no family wants to face. Fortunately, at The Law Office of Rowena N. Nelson, we’ve been able to successfully negotiate custody options that smooth out the process, give both parents fair access to the child/children, and most of all, protect the rights of the child. This is often accomplished by negotiating and working with the opposing attorney, and drafting a custody agreement that both parties can agree to, without the usual rancor that often occurs. As a reputed law firm dealing with child custody in Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia , we have handled hundreds of child custody cases in this manner for our clients. If, however, the other spouse is unreasonable in his/her demands, we are totally prepared to do everything within our power to protect your rights, and those of your child/children.
What does “in the best interest” of the child actually mean?
“In the best interest” of the child is the court criterion used when making custodial decisions. These include a number of elements, which are weighed in making a final ruling. Some of these are:
- Fitness of the parents
- Character and reputation of the parents
- Willingness of each parent to share custody
- Relationship between the child and each parent
- Potential disruption of particular custody arrangement upon a child’s social and school life
- Geographic proximity of parents’ homes
- Desire of the natural parents for custody and the terms of any agreements between them
- The likelihood of maintaining natural family relations
- The preference of a child when the child is of sufficient age and capacity to make rational judgments
- Opportunities affecting the future life of the child
- Age, health, and gender of the child
- Suitability of the homes of the parents and whether a non-custodial parent will have adequate opportunities for visitation
- Length of time of any separation between a child and natural parent
- Effect of any prior voluntary abandonment of the child
- Demands of each parent’s employment
- Financial status of each parent
With our reputation as one of the top divorce and custody lawyers, we make certain that your petition is presented in the best possible light when your case goes before the court. This may include presenting favorable character testimonials from a number of sources, creating a character profile, and more.