Washington D.C. Child Custody Lawyer Protects Your Parental Rights
Firm pursues visitation and parenting time plans that fit your unique circumstances
Child custody and visitation issues can be the most contentious part of any divorce proceeding. You owe it to yourself and your children to do everything you can to protect their best interests after a divorce. At Joel W. Anders, serving Washington, D.C. and surrounding Maryland communities, we have provided experienced legal counsel to our child custody clients for more than four decades. We provide knowledgeable and personalized service focused on your unique circumstances and the needs of your children. We are adept at negotiating creative solutions to keep you out of court, but if a court hearing is necessary to uphold your rights and promote your children’s best interests, you can rely on our proven skill and determination.
Knowledgeable adviser helps clients understanding child custody law in Washington, D.C.
What we call child custody actually encompasses two separate concepts:
- Physical custody — This refers to the child’s residence and the duties parents have to provide a safe environment, food, clothes and other necessities.
- Legal custody — This is decision-making authority over major aspects of the child’s life, such as education, medical care, religious formation and enrichment activities.
Each type of custody can be held jointly (shared by both parents) or be granted solely to one parent. Possible arrangements are as follows:
- Joint physical and legal custody — The child resides alternately with each parent. Each parent has a say in the major decisions. Parenting plans often have a specific breakdown of the schedule and a mechanism for resolving disagreements between parents.
- Sole physical and joint legal custody — When it is better for the child to reside mostly in one home, but both parents are fully engaged in the child’s life, this arrangement is appropriate. The noncustodial parent generally has frequent, regular parenting time or visitation.
- Sole physical and legal custody — If one parent cannot provide a suitable residence or be trusted with decision-making authority, this custody structure is appropriate. In this type of situation, a court might limit contact or order supervised visitation if a potential danger exists.
- Joint physical and sole legal custody — In rare situations, the court can find that living alternately with each parent is appropriate, even though it’s best for one parent to control important decisions. For example, if one parent would interfere with the child’s religious formation or if the child has special needs and one parent has specialized knowledge of the condition.
We do not employ a cookie-cutter approach to custody cases. We realize that every separation that involves children is unique. We will always look out for the best interests of your children by trying to settle any remaining differences between you and your ex-spouse about how to raise your children.
Thorough litigators advise on modification of child custody orders
Some terms of a divorce decree, such as child support and alimony, are subject to modification as time goes by and conditions change. Child custody is certainly no exception. As your children grow, their needs will change, and you may have to revisit your parenting plan. A parent’s incapacity due to accident, illness or substance abuse can prevent that parent from acting as a caretaker. One of the most challenging situations for a parenting plan arises when a custodial parent wants to relocate with the children. The court must balance everyone’s interests and decide whether the relocation is best for the child. A noncustodial parent’s relocation can also prompt a modification to visitation terms.
When the question of a modification of child custody arises, our family law firm handles your case with sensitivity and always keep the best interest of your child at the forefront.
Contact a reputable DC metro attorney for a free child custody consultation
Joel W. Anders has a solid reputation based on more than four decades of family law service to clients in the Washington, D.C. area. To discuss how we can help with your child custody dispute, contact us online or call our office at 202-466-4334. We have offices convenient via Metro service in Washington D.C. and Bethesda, Maryland.