At Dobson Law, we understand something very important – everything involving child custody is about what is best for the children. Just as we will fight to protect you and your rights, we will fight wholeheartedly to protect the rights of your children.
Child custody cases can be centered around more than children born to two people during the course of a marriage. Child custody cases can involve step parents who adopted their step child, parents who adopted children from another person or foster home, or other numerous circumstances.
Custody agreements can come in numerous forms: (1) verbal, (2) written, (3) notarized agreements, (4) separation agreements, (5) parenting agreement, or (6) court order. At Dobson Law, we highly recommend that the agreement be in writing, signed by both parties, and preferably notarized. An agreement that is in writing protects your rights to visitation, (when, where, how often) and protects your children so that one parent cannot arbitrarily deny visitation to another.
There are four words that are consistently misused or misunderstood in child custody; primary, joint, physical, and legal. In simple terms; Primary Physical Custody means that the majority of the time the child resides with one parent/guardian. Joint Physical Custody means that both parties have right to keep the children in accordance with the agreement. Primary Legal Custody means that one parent has the primary right to make decisions regarding the children. Joint Legal Custody means that both parties are to reach an agreement regarding legal decisions involving the children. This could include which school to attend, medical treatment, or other similar issues. Often when the parties are not able to reach an agreement, one party may have the right to make the decision when an impasse occurs.
For military members, this can be even more complex. Deployments, PCS, TDY, and several other factors can play a significant role in how courts rule toward the custody. However, military members can receive primary custody. Who better to represent you than a firm who has an attorney who has been in your shoes? Dobson Law understands these complexities of military divorce and child custody. We are here for you.
Being a military family can drastically complicate child custody. The most common questions we hear are:
- We live in State A, but my home of record is State B, who has jurisdiction?
- My spouse want to take the children to another state, because they know I can’t fight custody there?
- What happens if I deploy?
- My spouse filed while I was deployed, what do I do?
There is a law called UCCJEA that dictates how jurisdiction of a child is determined. While there are dozens of factors that are weighed in the determination, a major factor is where the child has resided for the previous six months. What this means is that one spouse can rarely take the children across state lines and file for divorce and custody of the children in that state. If a spouse files while you are deployed, there is a federal law that prevents the judge from entering a default judgement against you when you cannot attend the hearing, because of military obligations.
Here at Dobson Law, as a retired military member, I understand the complexities that are associated with custody and being in the military. That is what makes us the right firm for you.
Protect your and your children’s rights.
The Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a constitutional right to be a part of their children’s lives. We can advocate for you and your child. We also understand that there are circumstances where a parent should not be involved. We always advocate for the best interest of the child, and if that is the case, we fight to protect your children. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation at 919-591-2240 or send us an email by clicking on the button below.