Child Custody & Visitation Rights

Nothing is more important than the custody and visitation with a child following separation. The court may award custody to one or more parties who are fit and proper persons to have custody of a child. When both parents are fit and proper, the court must conduct a best interest of the child analysis to determine which parent would be the better custodian of the child, based upon a number of factors. In certain cases, the court will decide both parents are fit and are therefore entitled to joint custody. Parents who are joint custodians must consult with each other and agree on all major decisions affecting a child's welfare.

Natural parents have a paramount right to the custody of their child in a custody contest with a non-parent, unless the natural parent has engaged in conduct that waives their right.

Visitation is simply a lesser degree of custody. The noncustodial parent will generally be granted visitation rights with a child when visitation is in the best interests of the child. The times and conditions of visitation will be dictated by the circumstances of a case, but generally a noncustodial parent will have alternate weekend visitation, holiday visitation, and vacation time during the summer months.

A party seeking custody of a minor child will not be entitled to a temporary order (often termed an ex parte order) changing the living arrangements of a minor child unless there is evidence that there is a substantial risk of physical harm to the child, that the child may be the subject of sexual molestation, or that a parent is about to leave the jurisdiction of the court with the child.

Mr. Kelso charges his normal hourly rates in custody and visitation matters.
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For more information call: 704-865-8684