Child Custody Attorney
in Newton, Kansas

According to recent statistics from Statista, 2.3 out of every thousand residents in Kansas go through a divorce. If you are a parent about to go through a divorce, figuring out custody arrangements might be a concern on your mind. Whatever the nature of your divorce, making sure your child is cared for moving forward is an important element of the process.

Here at my firm, Cornerstone Law, LLC, I can help walk you through this process. As your Kansas family law attorney, I will offer you the comprehensive legal counsel, advocacy, and support you need to settle all facets of your divorce, including child custody matters. I’m also proud to serve clients throughout Newton, Kansas, and the surrounding areas of Wichita, Harvey, Hillsboro, Hutchinson, McPherson, and Marion, Kansas.

How Do I Establish a Child
Custody Arrangement?

When it comes to establishing a child custody arrangement, you have two main options. The first option is to work with the other parent to draw up your own terms and present them to the court for approval. Whenever possible, this is the quickest, least expensive, and most amicable option for resolving issues. In this case, an experienced Kansas divorce attorney can help you keep the conversation productive and on track.

The second option is what happens when you and the other parent cannot come to an agreement. When this happens, you’ll take the case to family court and a judge will use his or her best judgment to establish a custody arrangement. The standard in family court is to always do what’s best for the child, which is decided by the judge. Having an attorney present for this can be crucial to the outcome of your case so that your rights as a parent can be protected and you can present your case to the judge for an arrangement that you feel is best for your child or children.

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What Gets Decided in
Custody Arrangements?

Custody is an umbrella term. There are two kinds of custody — legal custody and physical custody, or residency. Legal custody involves the decisions that get made pertaining to your child, such as education and health. Physical custody, or residency, refers to where your child physically resides. Within both kinds of custody, there are three types of custody options: sole, joint, and divided custody. 

  • Sole Custody - This type of custody means that there is one parent who holds that type of custody alone. In regards to legal custody, one parent will make all of the decisions that dictate your child’s life. With residency, it means that the child lives with that parent alone and the other parent must negotiate a visitation schedule. 
  • Joint Custody - Joint custody splits the custody between both parents. This means both are needed to make important decisions in the child’s life and the child will live between both homes.
  • Divided or Split Custody - This type of custody can occur when there are multiple children involved. It separates the siblings to live with different parents for a finite amount of parenting time. They can rotate, but they may not be together at many points in time. Divided custody is not commonly used, as courts do not like to split up siblings.

What Factors Are Considered
When Determining Custody?

The standard for determining custody is to operate in the “best interests of the child.” This standard is somewhat vague, but there are several concrete factors that are considered, including but not limited to:

  • The child’s age
  • Each parent’s desire for custody
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The location of each parent’s home 
  • If any domestic abuse is present
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s preference if they are old enough to vocalize it

The best interest of the child is a holistic standard, so the entire circumstance of each parent and the child is reviewed closely by the judge. 

Can I Modify an Existing
Child Custody Arrangement?

Yes, you can. If you have already been through a divorce, it is important to remember that a custody arrangement is never written in stone. If there has been a change in circumstances, you can go back to the judge and request a modification to the existing child custody agreement. If one parent loses their job, if someone is not holding up their end of the agreement, or if one parent wants to move away — these are all events that can qualify to get you in front of a judge to request custody modifications.

How a Child Custody Attorney in Newton, Kansas Can Help

At the end of the day, when it comes to your children, you want to make sure that the best possible outcome comes out of your divorce and custody arrangements. Having a trusted advocate on your side throughout every step of the process is important. That’s why I will work diligently to protect your rights as a parent and help you pursue the best possible outcome in your child custody case. Don’t face this difficult process on your own. Reach out to my office today to schedule a consultation.