Dividing your assets and property in marriage is emotional and trying to say the least, but nothing can compare to the emotions involved in a child custody dispute. There is probably nothing more important to you than the health and safety of your children. When any aspect of their happiness or welfare is in jeopardy or threatened, then it is up to you as the parent to take legal action to protect them.

When couples cannot agree on child custody or visitation, their divorce is considered a contested divorce. Because the integrity of your relationship with your children is at stake, it is absolutely crucial that you retain the services of a skilled and compassionate family law attorney. Whether you are already anticipating trouble with your spouse and you have recently decided to separate, or if your divorce has already been finalized and you have encountered trouble with your custody or visitation agreement, an experienced attorney can help.

Child custody issues are not limited to divorcing couples; they can arise with any type of family situation, especially because not all children are raised by a married mother and father. There are times when a grandparent has raised their grandchild because their son or daughter is absent or because they have abandoned their child. When their absent son or daughter suddenly reappears to take their child back, despite their lengthy absence, a grandparent may feel that it is in the child’s best interests to fight for custody of them. This especially holds true if the natural birth parent has a drug or alcohol addiction or if they cannot properly care for their child.

There are times when a couple was never married or perhaps never even together yet they shared a child together. As a mother or father in this situation, it may be necessary to establish paternity in order to enjoy the benefits and responsibilities of parenthood. A man can use paternity testing to either establish his rights or responsibilities or to deny them. An unwed mother can do the same but for different reasons depending on her needs and desires.

Another common reason for custody disputes involves the situation where one parent wishes to gain custody of their child or children. This type of situation usually occurs when the non-custodial parent strongly believes that their child is in some type of danger that threatens their health, safety and emotional well being. This is especially true if the non-custodial parent suspects child abuse, sexual abuse or neglect.

These types of cases, where one parent is trying to take the children away from their current residential parent are extremely sensitive and must be handled with the utmost care. If you have reason to believe that your child is in some sort of danger, it is essential that your case is accurately represented. Failure to paint a clear picture of what you suspect is going wrong in the home can have the opposite effect of what you are aiming for. The children can remain in custody of the other parent if you don’t provide sufficient and overwhelming evidence stating otherwise.

If you are in need of addressing any child custody, support or visitation matter, you should contact a highly experienced family attorney without delay. Your children are very important and so is the relationship that you have with them. Hiring an aggressive lawyer will give you the best chances of reaching a favorable outcome in your child custody case. You are urged to contact a family lawyer as soon as possible so you can start taking action now.