Expertise.com

Best Family Lawyers in Arlington

Laurels
Laurels

We did the research for you!

Learn more
  • checkboxLicensing
  • checkboxUser Reviews
  • checkboxMystery Shopping Calls

Family Lawyers FAQs

Learn more
Allen & Weaver, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Allen & Weaver, P.C.

800 N. Industrial Blvd., Suite 106, Euless, TX 76039
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce

Business Description

Allen & Weaver, P.C., offers legal services to families and businesses in Arlington and the surrounding areas. The law firm, managed by a husband-and-wife duo, handles family law matters. It works on various cases such as divorce, child custody, property division, and adoption. Other services include representation in business law. Its attorneys draft and review contracts, leases, and purchase and sales agreements. The firm also takes on personal injury cases and advocates for individuals charged with crimes such as drug possession, domestic assault, and theft.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Crocker Russell & Associates Attorneys at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Crocker Russell & Associates Attorneys at Law

2401 Callender Road Suite 103, Mansfield, TX 76063
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Adoption

Business Description

Crocker Russell & Associates, Attorneys at Law, represents families and individuals in various aspects of family law. Serving the Arlington metro, the legal office takes on cases involving child custody and support, alimony, adoption, and divorce. It also serves clients who are victims of domestic violence and assists them in filing protective orders. In addition, Crocker Russell & Associates Attorneys at Law deals with matters related to probate and immigration law. Managing partner Ali Crocker Russell maintains an affiliation with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (83)
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (14)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Crystal L. Gayden logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Crystal L. Gayden

6815 Manhattan Blvd Ste 204, Fort Worth, TX 76120
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Crystal L. Gayden is a family law and divorce lawyer serving clients in Arlington and the surrounding communities. She represents clients in matters involving child custody, adoption, and property division. Gayden established her boutique firm in 2009, with the aim of educating clients about the law, meeting their legal needs, and helping them in achieving their goals. She is a member of the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association and the Tarrant County Family Law Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.5 / 5 (64)
Avvo
3.2 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
––
Detail
––
Curnutt & Hafer logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Curnutt & Hafer

301 W. Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76010
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Adoption

Business Description

Curnutt & Hafer is a legal practice serving clients in Arlington and the surrounding areas. It handles a wide range of family law cases, helping families in resolving issues such as divorce, child support and custody disputes, adoption, modifications, paternity and enforcement suits, and protective orders. Vicki Minter Hafer holds 20 years of experience in practicing law. Hafer has been recognized as a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine and is a recipient of the Bold Woman Award from Girls Inc.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (10)
Google
5.0 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Funmi Olanipekun Law Firm PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Funmi Olanipekun Law Firm PLLC

215 Billings Street, Suite 370, Arlington, TX 76010
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Funmi Olanipekun Law Firm PLLC offers counsel and assistance to residents in and around Arlington. The law office handles contested and uncontested divorce cases and helps clients address issues that may arise, covering those that concern property division and child custody. It also assists parents who are seeking to establish their rights. Name changes and uncontested and contested adoptions are also covered. Its attorney, Olufunmilola Olanipekun, has more than 14 years of experience. The former public defender is also admitted to practice in Nigeria.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Garcia & Ramires, PLLC Attorneys at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Garcia & Ramires, PLLC Attorneys at Law

1521 North Cooper St. Suite 340, Arlington, TX 76011
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce

Business Description

Garcia & Ramires, PLLC, Attorneys at Law, caters to the legal needs of wrongfully accused individuals, business owners, and families going through a divorce in Arlington and its surrounding areas. The office addresses several matters involving family law, such as property division, divorce, child support, and spousal custody. It assists clients in allocating parental responsibilities, establishing time-sharing plans, and deciding which parent claims the children on tax returns. Founding partners Raul Cruz Ramires and Juan Manuel Garcia also handle business formation and criminal defense.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Gaydos Duffer, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Gaydos Duffer, P.C.

1251 West Green Oaks Blvd. Ste. 130, Arlington, TX 76013
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Adoption
  • Divorce

Business Description

Gaydos Duffer, P.C., offers its family law services to Arlington residents. The firm represents clients and provides legal advice on divorce, mediation, and pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements. It extends its legal expertise to intended parents, surrogates, and egg or embryo donors in assisted reproduction and surrogacy cases. The law office formulates and negotiates surrogate contracts, examines agency documents, and drafts termination notices. Co-managing partner Lauren Duffer has spent over 15 years focusing her practice on matrimonial law issues.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Avvo
4.8 / 5 (5)
Google
3.3 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Jensen & Jensen logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Jensen & Jensen

6051 Interstate 20 West, Suite 103, Arlington, TX 76017
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce

Business Description

Jensen & Jensen is a legal practice that has been representing clients since 1978. It manages Arlington family law matters involving divorce, premarital agreements, legal name changes, and marital partitions of property. The law firm helps families resolve disputes through arbitration and mediation. Managing attorney Susan McClelland is a third-generation Texan lawyer. She holds a certificate in Family Law Training and Advanced Mediations. She was also a finalist for the Tarrant County Association of Mediators' First Annual Jane Arnold award.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (17)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Office of Leigh Ann Schenk logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Office of Leigh Ann Schenk

2340 West I-20,Suite 222, Arlington, TX 76017
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of Leigh Ann Schenk provides legal guidance in the Arlington metro, working to protect its clients' property, integrity, family, and rights. It handles many family law cases such as child protective services, spousal support, modification and enforcement of court orders, child custody, and divorce that is categorized into two—divorce for her and for him. Firm lawyer Leigh Ann Schenk is a licensed mediator who was one of three investigators involved in creating the Fort Worth Alliance For Children.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Office of Steve Le, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Office of Steve Le, PLLC

1317 E Pioneer Parkway, Arlington, TX 76010
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Adoption

Business Description

Since 2009, the Law Office of Steve Le, PLLC has been serving Arlington families in cases involving divorce and legal separation. The firm's attorney works on disputes concerning child support, domestic violence, alimony, visitation rights, and property distribution. He also assists individuals facing bankruptcy or who are injured in auto accidents. The firm also provides assistance to Spanish and Vietnamese-speaking clients. In addition to family matters, the Law Office of Steve Le also provides representation related to immigration law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Lovelace Law, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Lovelace Law, P.C.

1601 8th Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Founded in 2005, Lovelace Law PC is a full-service Fort Worth law firm that handles family law matters in Johnson and Tarrant counties. The esteemed family lawyers in Arlington have considerable knowledge of the Texas adoption process and termination of parental rights, experience writing up premarital agreements, and adept at developing agreements through the cooperation of both parties in divorce procedures. The firm handles issues surrounding child support, visitation, and custody. Lovelace Law also represents people in cases involving probate and estate law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (19)
Google
4.2 / 5 (10)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Robinson & Smart, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Robinson & Smart, P.C.

4214 Little Rd, Ste 2000, Arlington, TX 76016
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Robinson & Smart, P.C., is a legal practice that serves clients in the Arlington area. It provides legal representation to people dealing with family-related matters, such as child custody, adoption, custody modification, and paternity claims. It also resolves conflicts and issues through cooperative strategies and acting as a mediator. One of its attorneys, Gary Smart, has been in the field since 1991. He is an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Facebook
4.2 / 5 (10)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Sherman Law Firm logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Sherman Law Firm

112 Bedford Rd Ste 116, Bedford, TX 76022
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Sherman Law Firm has offices in Bedford and Fort Worth and provides family law services in the Arlington metro area. Founded in 2001, the firm represents clients in family law cases involving child custody, prenuptial contracts, adoption, juvenile delinquency, and domestic violence. Attorneys from the firm provide emotional support and understanding while guiding clients through the legal process. Sherman Law Firm additionally assists clients going through a divorce or facing bankruptcy.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (30)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Avery Law Firm, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Avery Law Firm, P.C.

411 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington, TX 76011
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Avery Law Firm, P.C., is a family-owned and family-operated business located in Arlington. The firm helps clients in resolving family-related issues through representation in trials, negotiations, and alternative dispute resolution. It handles a wide range of family-related cases including divorce, child custody and support, and parental rights. It also deals with estate planning and criminal defense matters. John Avery, the firm's principal lawyer, previously served as an assistant district attorney and prosecutor for Dallas County.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (27)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt

3216 W Arkansas Ln, Arlington, TX 76016
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt guides clients in the greater Arlington area through the complexities of divorce, child custody, and child support proceedings. Attorney Smiedt protects her clients' interests in family law mediation and litigation and works towards obtaining positive outcomes for clients. The firm also provides collaborative law services for families looking for alternatives to divorce litigation. Attorney Smiedt has over 30 years of legal experience and is board certified in family law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Google
4.1 / 5 (52)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Office of John Marsala logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of John Marsala

2304 Oak Lane, Grand Prairie, TX 75051
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Office of John Marsala serves clients in the Arlington area, offering legal representation to those who are dealing with issues relating to family, civil, and criminal matters. The family matters that the firm handles include child support, divorce, contract modifications, and child custody. The firm also deals with traffic tickets, protective orders, and felony cases. It applies unique strategies in every case it handles to achieve desired results. Principal attorney John Marsala has been in the legal industry since 1999.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (20)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Turner-Monahan PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Turner-Monahan PLLC

150 Throckmorton, Suite 116, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Since 1973, Tuner-Monahan PLLC has been representing families in Arlington in a wide range of family law matters. The firm's attorneys help with documentation and legal proceedings in a divorce, child custody, or marital asset division case. They also assist in the modification of existing orders for guardianship, child maintenance, and spousal maintenance. Tyler Monahan, one of the firm's partners, has been named a Top Family Law Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine for five consecutive years.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.6 / 5 (90)
Avvo
4.3 / 5 (12)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Violet Nwokoye Law Firm PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Violet Nwokoye Law Firm PLLC

3620 South Cooper St., Arlington, TX 76015
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Violet Nwokoye Law Firm PLLC is a legal practice based in Arlington that deals with family law issues. It offers representation in legal matters involving annulment, common law marriage, child support enforcement, step-parent adoption, and paternity establishment. It also handles marital, pre-marital, and non-marital cohabitation agreements. The firm's founder, Violet Nwokoye, is a family law attorney who has been in practice since 2003. Her other practice areas are civil litigation, personal injury, and immigration law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Google
4.1 / 5 (16)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Welch Law Firm, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Welch Law Firm, PLLC

3901 Arlington Highlands Blvd, Suite 200, Arlington, TX 76018
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Welch Law Firm, PLLC, serves clients in the Arlington area, providing legal representation to those who are dealing with family-related issues. The cases that the firm handles include child support, divorce, modification, and child custody. Its team is equipped to inform and advise clients about their rights throughout the legal process. The firm also handles personal injury cases, such as car accidents, dog bite injuries, and defective products. Lance Welch, the firm's sole attorney, has been in the field since 2005.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.5 / 5 (182)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Zehaie Family Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Zehaie Family Law

2000 East Lamar Boulevard 600, Arlington, TX 76006
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Divorce

Business Description

Zehaie Family Law is a firm operating in Arlington. It helps individuals and families in navigating through family law disputes such as child custody and support and divorce. Its practitioner, Bethel T. Zehaie, begins the process with a case evaluation, then she investigates the facts to gather the necessary evidence, and advocates for the rights of clients in negotiations or trials. She has extensive experience in litigation and also handles cases involving crimes and misdemeanors.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (53)
Google
4.4 / 5 (50)
Avvo
4.5 / 5 (20)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

Is family court different from district court?

In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

How long do custody cases last in family court?

The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

Why is there no jury in family court?

There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

What are the most common cases in family court?

Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

  • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
  • Child custody and the determination of paternity
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
  • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
  • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
  • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
  • Approval of underage marriages

Do family lawyers handle mediation?

Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.

What is family law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that places a special focus on issues concerning families. Common areas of family law include separation of assets and potential alimony arrangements during a divorce, child custody and child support mediation between estranged or divorced parents, paternity cases, and matters of adoption. Family lawyers not only oversee mediation during disputes over things like child support and custody arrangements, but they also represent parties' interests when family matters are dealt with in court.

What is a custodial parent?

When two parents do not live together with a child, one will be named as the custodial parent. The designated parent—or other guardian if both biological parents are deemed unfit—will have precedence in any legal decisions made concerning the child's life, including education and other matters of the child's welfare. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

What is sole custody?

When a child lives with one parent full time after a divorce or a legal separation, that parent has sole custody. This parent will be fully responsible for providing basic necessities for the child's well-being, including food, shelter, and clothing. The alternative is joint custody, in which both parents share physical custody of the child, based on a predetermined legal arrangement.

While they may sound the same, sole custody is not identical to full custody. In full custody, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, while in sole custody, they do not. A court would rule that a parent has sole custody rather than full custody when only one parent is deemed fit to act in the best interests of the child.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is a preset arrangement that occurs after a marriage is dissolved. In joint custody, a child lives with their custodial parent for certain days or weeks and their noncustodial parent for the remainder. The custody arrangement may be decided in a hearing, but if two parents come up with a suitable agreement on their own, the court will likely accept it.

What makes a good family lawyer?

There are a number of characteristics to look for in a good family lawyer. The first is experience. An experienced family law attorney will understand the right steps to take to come to an equitable resolution that reflects the best interests of the family, often without going to court. The ability to communicate and act as an intermediary between parties in a dispute is important, whether it concerns a divorce, custody, paternity, or something else. Family legal disputes can be stressful to manage, especially when mediation and finding a common ground is involved. A good family lawyer is also available as a resource to help their client navigate a difficult situation in a way that won't harm their chances for a positive resolution.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother could lose custody of her child if she's deemed unfit to provide or take proper care of them. This decision often comes as a result of the mother being unable to provide a safe home or take care of a child's basic needs. It can also come from a mother abusing the child or neglecting them, abusing drugs and alcohol, or frequently being arrested.

In any of these cases, the state can revoke custody from the mother, citing details learned through home visits, interviews, court records, and a variety of other sources as the reasons. In this case, sole custody would be given to the other parent, if he/she is able.

Read all FAQs