When a divorce involves minor children, the needs of the children are paramount. Depending on their ages and stages of development, they will be grieving the loss of the family unit in a variety of ways. Their needs may be difficult to ascertain, and, in many cases, parents will view the children's needs differently. In some cases, parents will have a difficult time setting aside their own emotions and staying focused on the children's needs. In other cases the conflicting parenting styles created some of the conflict that led to the divorce and separation is likely to increase that conflict. These situations cause much heart ache and stress and can make the process even more difficult. These situations require experienced counsel and my decades of experience can help me to guide you to the resources and resolve you so desperately need.
There are many resources available for both the parents and the children. Adjustment is difficult and while help is available it might be difficult to find. Creating a parenting plan before separating and setting up separate residence is one way to make that intitial transition more successful for everyone.
The custody and visitation issues can get more complicated where the parents decide to live far apart or even in separate states. There can be difficult and complicated jurisdictional issues involving the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act also known as UCCJEA a nation wide series of statutes adopted by most states.
What ever your situation attention to the needs of your children is always my first priority.
A legal proceeding can be filed regarding child custody and visitation if you were never married but share a child. Either parent can iniate the proceedings and the court can address all aspects of the child's upbringing including setting up custody, visitation, and support provisions. This type of Petition is filed to deal with those issues when the parents either no longer cohabitate, or never did and cannot agree on what is best for the child or children. Except that these actions do not address property issues they are otherwise treated in the same manner as a divorce proceeding on those issues.