Family law is a practice area that encompasses the legal issues that face families including divorce, child custody and support. Our goal is to protect our clients’ rights, and provide them with options and guidance at every step along the way. If you are in need of a family law attorney, please contact the experienced attorney Jeffrey M. Pfister for a consultation.
Negotiating child support can be stressful and lead to disputes if not handled correctly. Understanding your rights as well as what’s best for your child can help you and your child’s other parent determine a sufficient amount for child support.
Contempt is the intentional disobedience of a court order. Contempt includes action (such as violating a restraining order) AND failure to act (such as not paying ordered child support or spousal maintenance). Contempt must be proven, and then penalties will be assigned by a judge. Penalties can include the requirement to take a parenting class, receive counseling, search for a job for a certain number of hours a week, and call for future hearings to get an update on the steps that were taken to avoid contempt.
There are a lot of factors that play into determining which parent gets custody of a child, and the courts usually try to choose an option that allows both parents to have a relationship with the child. Distance between the parents’ residences, work and school schedules, and medical needs all play a role in determining which parent gets custody. There are also many different kinds of custody a parent can have, including sole custody, where the child resides with one parent with no or limited visitation; joint custody, where both parents care for and have access to the child; and shared custody, where the child will reside with one parent for an extended period of time and with the other parent for a similar amount of time.
Cases involving the Department of Children and Families can be very in-depth, and require a knowledgeable family law attorney in order to achieve favorable results. Understanding the in’s and out’s of the laws regarding the DCF and having the ability to anticipate other lawyers and judicial officers’ practices will make for a stronger case.
The two types of divorce cases are contested and uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce is the best option for a couple who are ending their marriage amicably with little conflict. This is also the quickest type of divorce, with results coming in as little as four to five weeks. Couples whose marriage does not end amicably require an uncontested divorce. With uncontested divorce, a judge will need to make the final decisions when it comes to custody, child support, and alimony. A divorce can cause emotional turmoil within your family, but having an attorney you can trust and confide in can reduce the weight on your shoulders.
Domestic Violence Injunctions
An injunction for protection against domestic violence is a civil order that provides protection from abuse by a family member. “Family” includes people who you are related to by blood or marriage; spouses, ex-spouses, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles; parties intimately involved and living together but never married; adopted children; step-parents and step-children, and others OR a person who is the parent of your child.
If you believe that your child is in a dangerous situation with your ex-spouse, you can seek emergency custody. Concerns for your child’s safety and well-being are the court’s number one priority when it comes to assigning custody, and if it appears that the child is in a dangerous situation with an ex-spouse, you can seek emergency custody of your child while investigators look into the situation.
During a divorce or other family law matter, the court will issue a final decree that includes judgments regarding property division, support, custody and other issues. This is a legally binding document, and those who do not comply with it can be held in contempt. At the law office of Jeffrey M. Pfister, we can assist you with the enforcement of court orders.
Mediation is a private and informal alternative to settling disputes in court. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the parties reach an agreeable resolution. The use of attorneys for divorce mediation is on the rise, and can be a less stressful alternative to having an attorney represent just one party in a courtroom.
We understand that circumstances can change after a divorce and after terms have already been agreed upon. A previously reasonable divorce agreement may now be insufficient or may place an undue financial burden on you. Allow Jeffrey M. Pfister to assist you in modifying your divorce agreement.
Whether you’re a single mother looking to locate the legal father of your child, or a father looking to claim your parental rights, establishing paternity has great benefits for your child. In order to have legal access to a child and his or her personal information, you must first establish paternity.