AREA OF PRACTICE
When it comes to children, I have a family-focused approach to family law. In family law, the Court’s job is to make rulings based on what is in a child’s best interest. I adopt that focus in my practice by counseling clients to make decisions that have a positive impact on the lives of their children. Any two people who have a child together are a family, whether married or not. They will always have that child in common. Sometimes parents are able to coparent easily and only need me to help them develop backup plans and a basic legal document outlining their rights. At other times the coparenting relationship is more challenging. For the challenging relationships, I will work with you to craft a set of rules that protects both your child and your own peace of mind.
Conservatorship and Possession
In family law, what people commonly refer to as “custody” is broken down into two sections: Conservatorship and Possession.
Conservatorship is about who has the right to make decisions regarding your child. How do the parents decide if the child needs surgery? Who is in charge of choosing which school the child goes to or if she should be in a gifted and talented program? These are all questions addressed in the part of the order that addresses conservatorship.
Possession and Access
Possession and Access is about who sees the child, when, and under what conditions. Even when a child is at school, one parent or the other will have technical possession during that time. Occasionally, one parent will need to have their time with the child supervised. A final order will lay out the terms for this supervision and the requirements to be met before unsupervised visitation is permitted. Rarely, a parent’s right to visitation will need to be terminated. My role is to help you find a schedule that will work for you and your child.
Sometimes the parentage of a child is questioned. This is a common concern in cases involving an unplanned pregnancy outside of a traditional relationship. It also occurs in the context of a relationship if there has been actual or suspected infidelity. I can help you navigate these questions and protect your rights with discretion and sensitivity.
Your Child's Rights
Every child has the right to health and safety. This right includes the right to have a relationship with both parents whenever possible. If the other parent is denying you access to your child, please seek legal help. If you believe a parent should be denied access to the child for the child’s health and safety, please seek legal help. This balance is extremely important to the future of your child and legal representation can be critical to ensure your child’s rights are protected.