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Top Washington, DC Child Custody Lawyers Near You

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1629 K St NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

2001 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

2050 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1500 K St NW, Suite 330, Washington, DC 20005

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1300 South, Washington, DC 20004

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1050 K Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20001

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1825 Eye Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

2112 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Ste 640, Washington, DC 20037

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

799 9th St NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20001

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

901 New York Ave NW, Suite 700 East, Washington, DC 20001

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

2001 K St NW, Suite 400 South, Washington, DC 20006

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1155 F St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20004

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

600 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037-1931

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

One Metro Center Suite 700, 700 12th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1301 K Street NW, Suite 1000 West, Washington, DC 20005

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036-6802

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

910 17th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1000 Potomac St NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20007

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

1901 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Child Custody Lawyers | Washington Office

901 K Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001

Washington Child Custody Information

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Lead Counsel Verified Attorneys In Washington

Lead Counsel independently verifies Child Custody attorneys in Washington and checks their standing with District of Columbia bar associations.

Our Verification Process and Criteria
  • Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
  • Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
  • Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
  • Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.

Find a Child Custody Attorney near Washington

Visit our free Child Custody Resource Center.

Shared Custody and Visitation

When parents of a child are separated or get a divorce, they have to determine the child’s custody and visitation rights. Custody arrangements can include shared custody or sole custody. Joint legal custody and joint physical custody mean the parents both have the right to make legal decisions for the child and share physical time with the child. Even when both parents have shared custody, the parent who spends the most time with the child is generally considered the custodial parent. The other parent has visitation rights and can see the child based on the visitation schedule and custody order.

Legal Issues in Child Custody Disputes

When parents cannot agree on a child custody agreement that works for everybody, they may have to go to court to have family law matters decided. In most cases, the court will first have the parents go through mediation to work together on a schedule. If mediation does not work, the court may decide the custody and visitation arrangement.

How Do Judges Decide Child Custody

Family court judges must consider what is in the best interests of the child when determining custody. The court can consider several factors, including the child’s relationship with the parents, the parents’ work schedules, the child’s wishes, siblings and extended family, distance between parents, cooperation of the parents, safety and stability, and any other relevant factors. In most cases, judges emphasize making sure the child will spend time with both parents. To make this happen, a judge will likely want to know what each parent’s home environment is like, whether each parent will be able to give a child the proper attention, and in which situation the child will be most likely to thrive.

Taking Away Parental Rights

Parents can lose their parenting rights if the child is abused, abandoned, or in an unsafe environment. A parent or the state can petition for a termination of parental rights. The other parent will have a chance to respond in court to present their side of the story. Grounds for terminating parental rights include abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Can I Change a Child Custody Order?

If both parents are unhappy with the current custody arrangement, you can negotiate a change to your agreement or modify the child custody order. If a family law judge feels that the changes are in the child’s best interests and benefits outweigh any negative impacts, then the court may modify the child custody order. If you want to change a child custody order and the other parent disagrees, you may need to show a substantial change in circumstances to justify the change. This could include one of the parents moving out of state, suffering from a disability or illness that affects their parenting ability, domestic violence, exposing the child to an unsafe environment, or having a change in work circumstances that requires rescheduling visitation.

What If My Ex Isn’t Paying Child Support?

It can be very difficult for a custodial parent to take proper care of their child if the other parent isn’t paying their fair share. However, in most cases, a parent’s failure to pay child support or spousal support is not enough to deny visitation. If your ex isn’t paying support, you can contact your District of Columbia child support program to enforce child support orders.

How a District of Columbia Child Custody Attorney Can Help

A family law attorney can help you resolve your custody legal issue and guide you through the process. Child custody lawyers can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. For legal advice on your custody issues, you should look for a family law firm with a practice area that focuses on District of Columbia child custody cases like yours.

What do judges look for in custody cases?

In every state, family court judges must consider what is in the child’s best interests when determining custody. In most cases, judges emphasize making sure the child will spend ample time with both parents. To make this happen, a judge will likely want to know what each parent’s home environment is like, whether each parent will be able to give a child the proper attention, and which situation the child will be most likely to thrive in.

Who has legal custody of the child when the parents aren’t married?

If the parents are not married, the child’s biological parents both have parental rights unless the law says otherwise. An exception to this could be if no father is listed on the child’s birth certificate. In that case, the father would have to go through the legal process of establishing paternity to be able to assert his parental rights for visitation.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother can lose custody of her child in much the same way a father could. This could include abusing the child, abusing drugs or alcohol, providing an unsafe home environment for the child, or abandoning the child.

How can you change a child custody order?

If you or your ex are unhappy with the current custody arrangement, you can negotiate a change to your agreement. If a judge feels that the changes are still in the child’s best interests, then they may approve the order. If one of you is pressing ahead with seeking a change and the other parent is contesting it, you will need to prove a “substantial” change in circumstances. This could include one of the parents moving out of state, suffering from a disability or illness that affects their parenting ability, exposing the child to an unsafe environment, or having a change in work circumstances that requires rescheduling of visitation.

Best Time to Seek Legal Help

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

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