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Know The Difference Between Joint Custody & Equal Parenting Time

This comes up a lot in my practice.  People come in to see me and they tell me I want joint custody and I don't think that they realize there are two aspects to custody.  There is the legal aspect of custody and is there is the physical aspect of custody.

The legal aspect of custody relates to who's making major decisions about the children.  Normally major decisions relate to major decisions in the area of medicine education religion and personal care.  Personal care is kind of a newer thing that's come up and it relates to for example, are you going to let your kid get a tattoo or get a nose piercing or color their hair. Those are personal care decisions.   Custody relates to major decisions in those areas. Custody does not relate to that day-to-day everyday decisions that you make when the child is in your care.  For example, the kid comes over to see you and spend time with you and is feeling a little under the weather.   You want to...

Is Child Custody Affected When a Mother is Breastfeeding?

What happens in child custody if a mother is breastfeeding? Does the father get any parenting time at all? If so, how much?

As I've said in many of these videos the answer to the question is it depends on a lot. If you're a fit parent or a fit father, you don't have any mental or emotional issues you should be getting parenting time with your infant child for sure. There’s tons of studies on the importance of a child bonding not only with mother but also with the father during the early months and years of their lives. So there's a lot of support for you getting time with your child.

The question is how much and how often are you getting that time if the mother of the child is breastfeeding?

What if Your Older Child is Telling You They Want Custody or Parenting Time Arrangement Changed?

What you should be doing if you have an older child who is telling you that he or she wants the custody or parenting time arrangements to be changed.

I had this issue just come up in one of my cases and let me give you a little background.  I have a client and he had custody of his three boys as they were growing up but as the boys were growing up one of them started to give him a hassle a few years ago saying that he wanted to live with mom who lives in Arizona and father by the way lives in a different state.

So father and mother went through a couple of rounds of litigation where they were battling over whether the boy would get to come and live with mother or not and ultimately in those rounds of litigation they settled the case. But more recently the boy came to spend time with mother during summer break and at the end of summer break he essentially refused to go home. The boy is 16 years old according to the mother the boy refused to get in the plane to get in the car to...

Can You Withhold Parenting Time if Your Spouse Fails to Pay Child Support?

In my family law practice a lot of people come to me, especially those who are entitled to receive child support. They want to know if they are entitled to withhold parenting time from the other parent due to non-payment of child support.

My inclination is to say No, because that is not in the child's best interest. Parenting time and child support are two separate issues. Just like if a parent is obligated by a court order to pay child support...if there is then is a court order in effect that says a parent is entitled to a certain amount of parenting time, then they are entitled to get it.

The parent may not be happy because they are not getting child support, but they still must give the other parent the parenting time according their agreement. Because if they don't, they could face the same consequences that the parent who is failing to pay child support faces.

So, there are ways to get a parent to pay child support if they are not doing it, other than withholding parenting...