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The Risks of Informal Custody Arrangements

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

In our practice, we’ve discovered that it is incredibly common for separated parents to go without any sort of formal agreement or court order regarding custody or visitation. Instead, these parents will have some sort of informal, spoken or unspoken, understanding about where the children live and how visitation is supposed to work. For some parents, this works out. Unbeknownst to these parents, they are taking a great risk. As family law attorneys, we have seen it all when it comes to child custody cases. The reason that informal arrangements are risky is that without any formal order or agreement, there is nothing in place to stop one parent from refusing to allow the other to see the child. On the other side of that coin, there is nothing that …

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Why You Need a Custody Order

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

When couples that have children separate, there is a wide spectrum of how they are able to co-exist and co-parent. Some parents may fight tooth and nail over child custody. Other parents are able to reach informal, verbal agreements that provide ample parenting time and works out great. Unfortunately, no matter how civil and amicable your relationship with your ex, there are compelling legal and practical reasons to obtain child custody orders. Custody orders are enforceable and provide protection. Without custody orders, anything goes. Either parent can come and go with the child as they please since there is no order for law enforcement or courts to hold the other parent accountable. So if an amicable co-parenting relationship suddenly turns, there is no safety net in place to stop a …

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What is in a Divorce Decree?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Are you in the process of a divorce? Are you attempting to represent yourself? We would highly suggest that you reconsider. The reason we say this is that divorces can be incredibly intense and complex proceedings, especially when there is property that needs to be divided or when children are involved. And significantly, there are highly specific legal requirements of pleadings and orders that the parties in a divorce must adhere to for the divorce to be valid and legally enforceable. One of these orders is the final divorce decree. Contents of a Divorce Decree A divorce decree is the final order that a judge signs and enters, which grants a couple’s divorce. This order can result from an agreement of the parties or following a trial in which the …