Safeguarding Children's Interests In Family Law Proceedings

Posted on: 24 May 2021

Family law proceedings are an emotionally testing time. Unfortunately, given the nature of familial relationships, conflicts often spill over and affect other family members. For instance, while divorce proceedings are about the spouses, the emotional turmoil affects all family members. Children are the most vulnerable members of society, requiring maximum protection. Therefore, separating spouses should contact a competent child custody attorney to safeguard their children's best interests. 

A child custody attorney specializes in negotiating custodial rights, child support, visitation rights, and paternity determination where there is doubt. The law provides that any family court's primary considerations involving a child should be in the child's best interests. As explained below, a child custody attorney is essential in child custody hearings for the following reasons.

Determining Custodial Rights

When spouses divorce, there is uncertainty regarding who takes custody of the child. In some cases, the parents may amicably decide on a custodial arrangement for the child and parents. Some states require parents to formulate a parenting plan with all relevant custodial, visitation, and support details. A child custody attorney can draft a comprehensive parenting plan that captures the spouses' agreement. However, if the parents cannot agree on custody, a family court has to decide on the child's custody. The paramountcy principle places an overriding responsibility on family courts to always consider the child's best interests before considering anything else in matters involving children. Therefore, a child custody attorney represents either party seeking custody before a family court judge. The child custody attorney understands the required proof to establish that a parent best serves the interests of a child. Therefore, a child custody attorney proves a parent's suitability in providing a safe environment.  

Calculating Child Support Payments

Each state has its family law regulations that stipulate considerations for child support payment. Separating parents should consult a competent child custody attorney to calculate the correct child support amount each party should pay. A child custody attorney understands the factors that determine the amount payable, such as the parent's gross income, child care costs, and the custodial time spent with the child. Therefore, hiring a child custody attorney protects a child's interests by getting a fair child support settlement.

Requesting Paternity Action to Determine Parentage

A non-custodial father may choose to challenge the paternity of a child, precluding himself from any responsibility from the child. Suppose a father doubts the paternity of a child. In that case, he can petition the court through a child custody attorney for a court-mandated DNA paternity test to establish the child's biological father. On the other hand, a mother to a child can petition the court for paternity fraud if the rightful father denies responsibility.

Reach out to a child custody attorney like Kenneth J. Molnar for more information.