The desire for most parents whose divorce has been finalized is to have their children shielded from the stress that comes with protracted child custody battles. However, not all child custody cases are resolved amicably. In some occasions, these cases become very contentious with parents battling it out to assert that they each deserve to keep the kids. Regardless of the feelings that the parents may have for each other, the court, when deciding custody cases will prioritize the interest of the children over the feelings of the parents.
In a custody arrangement, one parent is often awarded physical custody while the other is awarded visitation rights. The main goal of such orders is to allow each parent to play a part in the children’s lives without such arrangements becoming too disruptive for the minors they seek to protect. If you perceive that your ex is hostile and might try to bar you from enjoying equal parenting rights, you will need to hire an experienced visitation lawyer to iron out the fine details of your visitation arrangement and explain to you what your legal options and obligations are as well as what you will be expected to do in regards to child support and other legal aspects of the child custody case.
i. Private agreement- In this case, the court will not play the role of arbiter. The two parents will agree on all aspects of visitation and then have the agreement documented in a visitation and custody agreement.
ii. Court Intervention- If the two parents cannot agree without the involvement of the court, the court will decide on which parent will be awarded physical custody and who will be awarded visitation rights. If the court is convinced that the noncustodial parent is irresponsible and might harm or neglect the child, it might decide not to award visitation rights. If the court satisfies itself that the noncustodial parent is a responsible parent, it will give a visitation order detailing the days and times that the noncustodial parent can visit the child.
What of Non-parent visitation
In New York, siblings, grandparents, step-siblings can petition the court to be allowed visitation. The court will allow such petitions if it is determined that the non-parent relatives had a substantial relationship with the child before the divorce and that such a relationship should be continued for the well-being of the child. However, if the custodial parent raises an opposition to the petition, the petition will not be granted on grounds that the custodial parent knows what is best for the child.
Different Types of Visitation
The court may determine which type of visitation to award depending on the merits of the case before it. The various types of visitation orders include:
• Unsupervised visitation- The non-custodial parent can do whatever he or she wants to do with the child, including taking the child on a trip or to his or her place.
• Supervised visitation- The court or custodial parent may appoint an adult to be present when the non-custodial parent is visiting the child. This is awarded if it is thought that a non-custodial parent can abuse or neglect the child.
• Therapeutic supervised visitation– This is awarded to improve the non-custodial parent’s parenting skills.
• Neutral place exchange- if the parents have a contentious relationship, the court may order that the child is turned over at a place that involves little interaction between the parents. How an attorney can help
How an attorney can help
If the child custody case you are involved in turns contentious, your visitation lawyer will ensure that your right as the non-custodial parent to spend time with your child is protected. To ensure that your rights are not trampled upon it is critical that you have experienced representation. Our skilled and experienced visitation lawyers are here to help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.
This article is by Nima Haddadi – a Los Angeles DUI Attorney. The cost of a legal battle can be devastating. Nowhere is this more true than in family courts, where the stakes and the emotions are both high. In some cases, clients may be tempted to simply not pay the final bill. After all, can your attorney sue you? Unfortunately for people who are saddled with a high price tag for legal representation, the answer is usually a resounding yes.
Thwre are several reasons a person may not wish to pay their bill – as well as several reasons that most should do so. The reasons for paying your bill are obvious. First, it is ethical to pay people as agreed for the services they worked hard to deliver. You do not work for free, and neither does your lawyer. Second, there is a good chance that you will need a lawyer again in life. Having an established and good relationship with your lawyer will come in handy. In addition, other lawyers may not want to take you as a client if you have a history of refusing to pay up. Last, attorneys are not a group that are often denied what is rightfully theirs without a fight. They are familiar with the court system and the legal remedies available to people who are not paid as promised.
However, there are a few situations where you can contest your final bill and end up with a much reduced number. First, you may not feel that the attorney delivered what they promised. Lawyers should be paid regardless of the outcome of the case, but you may feel that they failed to deliver the quality that was promised. As with all humans, some lawyers are more competent than others and a small minority fail to meet the minimum competence that the field demands. Second, you may suspect that they have padded their time and costs beyond what is ethical or even possible. It is okay to question this and to ask for a reduction if so. Most importantly, you should do this early in the process and not before the bill is overdue.
Thwre are ways for people to avoid paying too much for services without risking a lawsuit. The first option, as discussed before, is to communicate with the attorney about your concerns. This is best done in writing so you can show a paper trail of good faith effort if the lawyer does decide to sue you. The second option is fee dispute litigation, in which you take the first move in letting the courts decide on the appropriate payment.
It can be scary to go up against a lawyer in courts, but clients do so successfully on a regular basis if they have been wronged. There are a few things that you should keep in mind if you decide to do this. First, a contract cannot be used to justify unreasonable fees. You can ask around to see what is reasonable in your area in terms of billed hours for cases like yours and the charges for them. Second, while attorneys are not usually required to win, they are legally and ethically required to deliver on their promises and render expert quality services. In addition, they are not allowed to tack on bonuses and additional fees that were not discussed with you.
If you do not pay your attorney, they are limited in their ability to handle the matter. The law recognizes that they have an upper hand. They are not allowed in New York State to hire collections agencies. In addition, they may not use information they gained in representing you to come after you or strengthen their case. Their main options are to sue you or to use liens to collect what they believe is due. Ultimately, many of these disputes are handled in the courtroom.
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