Divorces, custody decisions, and determining spousal and child support are some of the most important legal decisions that a family can face. Because there is so much at stake, these types of legal disputes tend to be more stressful and emotional than most. Furthermore, when a separating couple are unable or unwilling to cooperate, custody battles can drag on for months, causing additional stress to the children and costing both parties a significant amount of money. If you or a loved one live in Draper and are involved in domestic litigation, retaining experienced attorney Jill L. Coil can help ensure that the dispute is resolved as efficiently and in as stress-free a manner as possible.
Our law firm handles a variety of family law issues, including:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Criminal Defense (Adult and Juvenile)
- Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) Actions
- Domestic Litigation
- Domestic Partnership
- Domestic Violence (Protective Orders)
- Family Law Proceedings
- Juvenile Defense
- Paternity/Paternity Suits
- Post-Judgment Modifications
- Pre & Postnuptial Agreements
- Spousal Support
Establishing paternity has important legal repercussions for both fathers and children. This is because once paternity has been established, a father has certain rights and obligations in regard to his child. For instance, once paternity has been established, he may be required to provide financial support and include the child on any insurance policies. The child will also have rights to inheritance and may be able to establish citizenship based on the father’s status. Fathers are also permitted to claim physical or legal custody as well as visitation rights, which may require additional legal action.
Determining child custody is one of the most important aspects of any divorce proceeding or attempt to establish paternity because it has the potential to affect a child for the rest of his or her life. In the ideal scenario, a separating couple would work together to create a joint parenting plan, wherein both parties agree to share legal and physical custody. Unfortunately, reaching an amicable agreement is sometimes impossible, in which case, a court steps in to determine a custody arrangement.
As part of its decision-making process, the courts look at what arrangement would be in the best interests of the child. This involves an analysis of a series of factors, including:
- The child’s preferences and needs;
- Which parent is most likely to act in accordance with the child’s best interests, which includes allowing him or her to have frequent contact with the other parent;
- Both parents’ past conduct and involvement in raising the child prior to the separation;
- Whether one party does not desire custody;
- The financial abilities of both parents; and
- Each parent’s ability to prioritize the child’s welfare.
In the interests of the child’s welfare, courts will presumptively establish a joint custody arrangement unless one of the following factors exists:
- Domestic violence in the home or in the presence of the child;
- Special physical or mental needs of a parent or child;
- Physical distance between the homes of the parents; or
- Other factors deemed relevant by the court.
If one of these circumstances exist, a court has discretion to assign other types of custody arrangements, including:
- Sole legal and sole physical custody;
- Joint legal and sole physical custody; or
- Split custody.
Because establishing paternity and determining child custody can have such important and far-reaching consequences for both parents and children, it is imperative to obtain the advice of an attorney if you are involved in a legal dispute in Draper. Please contact an experienced attorney at Coil Law, LLC by calling (801) 884-3775 to schedule an initial consultation.