Child Custody Attorney in Cleveland
Helping Residents of Independence Create Visitation Schedules
One of the most difficult decisions that parents must deal with is child
custody - where will the children live? Who will make the decisions? What
if a modification is needed for a custody, visitation, or
child support court order? Custody battles can be one of the most expensive aspects of a
divorce or post-decree case. These costs are not purely financial. There are significant
emotional and relational tolls imposed upon the family - especially for
children. At The Law Offices of LeeDaun C Williams LLC, our Cleveland
child custody attorney can help you create and maintain a schedule that
works for all parties involved.
Contact our office at
(216) 350-8511 for your free initial consultation.
Custody vs. Shared Parenting
Custody and shared parenting are two frameworks for allocating parental
rights and responsibilities. This means that the legal rights of parents
to make decisions and spend time with their children are dictated through
both of these legal actions. Under each framework, the right to make important
decisions (education, religion, medical) for your children is allocated
to one or both parents either by an agreement or through a court decision.
Under the custody framework, one parent is the residential parent and
legal custodian. This parent makes the important decisions that concern
the children on a daily basis.
Under shared parenting, both parents are designated the residential parent
and legal custodian. However, one of the parents will be designated the
residential parent for school purposes only. This is because schools are
very concerned over the residential addresses for school placement. Parents
under a shared parenting plan must be able to communicate and work together
to make the important decisions for their children together.
Parenting time, also known as visitation, is separate from decision-making
authority. A parenting time schedule is established for regular visitation
time and sharing holidays and school breaks. This schedule deals with
the actual dates and times for parenting time, where the pick-ups and
drop-offs will take place, and how the week will be divided. Conflict
can be avoided by adding significant detail to your shared parenting plan
and parenting time schedules. A good plan will endure and provide certainty
and security for both you and your children. You can certainly change
the plan by agreement, but the purpose of the plan is to provide guidance
when parents cannot agree.
Misconceptions About Shared Parenting
Shared parenting does not mean equal parenting time and it doesn't mean
that a parent won't pay child support. These are common misconceptions
about shared parenting. When a court decides child custody and parenting
time matters, the court looks at the best interests of your children -
not the parents. It is always better to come to an agreement with the
other parent concerning your children because you know them best. When
an agreement isn't possible, the court will look at a variety of factors
in determining your children's best interests.
Guardian Ad Litems & Custody Evaluations
Some cases require the assistance of a Guardian Ad Litem or Custody Evaluator.
The information obtained from such evaluations can help guide the court
in making custody or parenting time determinations. Guardian Ad Litems
and Custody Evaluators often assist parents in creating parenting plans
that work for their individual families - families like yours.
Here to Help Ensure Your Child’s Best Interests
At The Law Offices of LeeDaun C. Williams PLLC, our Cleveland child custody
and visitation lawyer will work with you and the other parent of your
child to determine the best custody and parenting plan for your situation.
Complete our online contact form or call us directly at
(216) 350-8511 to schedule your appointment.