Delaware Child Custody Lawyer

If you and the other parent of your children have divorced or separated and you need to set up a child custody arrangement that is in everyone’s best interests, get in touch with a knowledgeable Delaware child custody attorney today.

Issues surrounding the custody of shared children can be difficult for the entire family—particularly when there is conflict between the parents and neither can come to an agreement that meets the whole family’s needs. Before leaving it up to the courts to decide where the children primarily live and when you’ll spend time with them, it’s best to try to work things out amicably.

This is where the assistance of a qualified Delaware child custody lawyer with Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor can make a difference. We will work hard to make sure that your children’s needs always come first when negotiating the terms of your child custody arrangement.

Visitation Schedules vs. Custody Arrangements

It is very common for people to confuse visitation schedules and child custody. A visitation schedule refers to the quality time that children spend with their non-custodial parent. This usually involves specific days of the week, times, and how frequently the parent will be spending time with the children. You will have a set visitation schedule as part of your child custody agreement.

Child custody, however, refers to which parent the children will primarily reside with and who is responsible for making decisions regarding the child’s overall health and wellbeing. There are many different ways custody can be arranged, based on what works best for your family and is in the best interest of the children. Your child custody lawyer in Delaware can help you consider all options.

Types of Child Custody Arrangements in Delaware

There are a number of arrangements that can be made in regard to child custody, and they can be combined in a few different ways to ensure that the best interests of the children are being upheld. Below, we have outlined the options you and your children’s other parent will have for establishing custody.

Legal Custody

If a parent has legal custody of his or her child, it means that this parent will make all of the decisions regarding the children’s health and lifestyle. For instance, the legal custodian will make health decisions for the children, choose which extracurricular activities the children will participate in, and decide the schools they will go to and what religion they will be raised in.

Physical Custody

Retaining physical custody simply means that your children’s primary place of residence is your home and visitation occurs with the other parent.

Joint Custody

This means that you and the other parent of your children share the decisions made in regard to your children’s health and wellbeing.

Sole Custody

If a parent has sole custody, he or she is entitled to make all of the decisions about the children without being obligated to address the wishes of the other parent.

Putting It Together

The above terms can be combined to describe custody arrangements as follows. If parents have joint legal custody, then both parents will need to work together to make decisions about their children, whereas sole legal custody means that one parent doesn’t have to confer with the other before making a decision.

If parents have joint physical custody, then the children spend an equal amount of time at both parents’ homes, whereas sole physical custody means the children live with one parent and may visit the home of the non-custodial parent.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Delaware?

Delaware courts are very family-friendly and will always make their custody determinations based on what is in the best interests of the children. Children’s preferences on which parent they would like to live with are often taken into consideration.

Before a custody order goes into effect, parents need to go through a mediation process. Here, they can hopefully come to an agreement on their own so the court doesn’t have to decide for them.

If the court has to establish a custody arrangement, it will consider the income of both parents, whose home is better equipped to accommodate the children, and any mental health or substance abuse issues that may have the potential to impact the children in a negative way.

Whether it’s through mediation or representing you in court, your child custody attorney in Delaware can fight to make sure your child custody arrangement is fair.

Get in Touch with a Delaware Child Custody Attorney

When the parents are no longer living together due to a divorce or separation, the issue of where your children will live and how time spent with the children will be divided will almost inevitably arise.

For help ensuring the needs of your children are always the top priority, get in touch with an experienced Delaware child custody lawyer at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor. Schedule your case evaluation by filling out the convenient contact form at the bottom of this page or giving our office a call at 302-734-8400.