As a Family Law attorney, I help parents develop the legal framework for co-parenting after a break-up. Oftentimes, maneuvering through the court system is confusing and stressful for parents. Many are already dealing with stressful situations, and legal proceedings can add to the strain. Understanding what’s happening in court helps to ease the tension.
When dealing with child placement and legal custody issues, the courts begin with some presumptions. The key for single parents is to understand these presumptions and use them to their benefit throughout the court process.
Joint legal custody presumption
First, the court presumes that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child. That presumption is binding on the court. As a parent, if you don’t want to share joint legal custody with a co-parent, you will need to show evidence to show why this presumption is not appropriate to your situation for your children. If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to maintain a productive conversation with your attorney or a judge.
A classic example of a compelling circumstance that changes perceptions is the presence of domestic violence in a case. When a parent is the victim of domestic abuse, a different set of presumptions unfolds. If you’re the victim of domestic abuse, you can start to get a lot of powerful protections in your favor. You can argue with confidence that joint legal custody is no longer in the best interest of the child.
In child custody cases without evidence of battery or abuse, overcoming the presumption that joint legal is in the child’s best interest is more complicated.
A parent has two options:
- Prove the other parent is incapable of acting as a legal custodian.
- Show evidence of unusually dramatic conditions that substantially interfere with the ability of the parents to talk or exercise legal custody. Being unable to cooperate goes beyond the level of “Every time we talk, we start arguing.” Everyone who’s dealing with legal custody gets into arguments.
Consulting with a Family Law attorney can help you better understand the intricate legalities of child custody and physical placement. Contact me today to schedule a time to talk about your specific situation.
About Us: Attorney Devin Shanley is the approachable expert clients can trust. A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Devin has been developing legal solutions in his beloved hometown since 2012. Married to Mo and dad to two rambunctious kids, he has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, grilling out, and playing with his kids. His areas of practice are Estate Planning, Family Law, Business Law, and Non-Profit Organization Law. Schedule your free consultation by calling 920-471-4337.