Stein Sperling’s family law attorneys regularly assist clients with custody and access issues. Negotiating an agreement that works for all parties can be challenging, especially since each parent usually wants to see his or her children as often as possible. Throughout this process, we help our clients preserve a relationship with their ex-spouses that will allow them to cooperate and work together to co-parent their children.
We begin by helping clients distinguish between legal custody and physical custody and define their goals for negotiating each, keeping their child’s best interests in mind.
As we develop plans for each parent’s custodial time, our attorneys help clients anticipate present and future challenges in scheduling. Once a custody agreement is established, we are able to help clients enforce those agreements or modify them as needed. Child custody modifications often occur when parents move residences, children need to switch schools or previous agreements no longer suit the children’s needs. As these changes occur, our attorneys are able to guide clients as they renegotiate the terms of their custody agreement or seek intervention to change the provisions.
In addition to our child custody work, some of our attorneys are also able to act as a Best Interest Attorney (BIA) or Privilege Attorney on behalf of a child whose family is involved in a custody dispute. In these cases, we represent a minor child at the expense of his or her parents, protecting the child’s interests while exercising extraordinary care and diligence. As BIAs, we assess what is in the child’s best interest and advocate for that, even if it runs counter to what the child is requesting at that time. When acting as Privilege Attorneys, we recommend whether or not to waive a child’s right to privilege in his or her interactions with a mental health care provider as well as other statutory privileges.