Experienced Representation In Child Custody And Family Law
Ivy Graham handles child custody and all facets of family law. Knowing how scrambled and emotionally charged these issues can be, she draws on her focused legal knowledge and familiarity with the local family court system to deliver inspired and practical solutions.
The Louisiana courts have moved from the traditional arrangement of one parent having physical custody and the other parent having "visitation" every other weekend. The new norm is joint custody with some form of shared parenting. Joint custody means that both parents are involved in the child's life and decision-making. Shared parenting or co-parenting means that the child spends more equalized (but not necessarily 50-50) time with Mom and Dad.
Ivy Graham is knowledgeable and can help you reach a workable agreement on the specifics of your custody arrangements and parenting plan, such as:
- Schedules (for example, alternating weeks or three days/four days at each house)
- Specifics of pickup and drop-off
- Vacations and holidays
- Extracurricular activities
- Contact with the child
- Parent communication and joint decisions
- Grandparent visitation
- Relocation beyond the 21st Judicial District
Modifying Child Custody And Parenting Plans
You may need to make practical changes to a custody schedule. You may be seeking a major change to the current arrangements. Custody modifications can be very quarrelsome, especially when one parent feels that his or her parental rights are threatened.
Ivy has handled every type of child custody modification:
- Altering the parenting plan
- Request for shared parenting or increased visitation
- Sole custody on grounds of drug use, abuse, or neglect
- An older child switching households
- Relocating with the children
Representing Unwed Parents In Custody, Support And Paternity Matters
Nearly half of all children in the U.S. are born outside of marriage. Unwed parents have the same custody rights and the same financial obligations to their children as parents who were married and divorced. But the reality is not always so simple.
The Law Office of Ivy L. Grahamhas represented both mothers and fathers in paternity and custody cases. Ivy understands that these situations can be intricate and tense. You might not know each other well or you may be involved with someone new. Yet, you have a child together and you need to sort out the issues of child support and co-parenting.
Custody and Co-Parenting for Unwed Parents
In one common scenario, the mother petitions for "full custody" after she and the father split up. If you lived together for a while, the court may treat your case like a married couple, with the presumption of joint legal custody and shared parenting in which parenting time is split evenly between the parents.
The other typical scenario is unwed parents who did not live together nor have a long-term relationship. The father may not even have a relationship with the child. Depending on the circumstances, the court may gradually phase in the father's involvement, starting with short or supervised visitation and working up to equal custody over time.
Finding A Way To Make It Work
Sole custody is almost never awarded unless there is a serious safety threat such as drug addiction or child abuse. So, really you are only fighting over the details of co-parenting. A give-and-take agreement that reflects your priorities is usually preferable to a judge's binding ruling that may not make sense for your family.
Litigation should be a last resort, but sometimes it is unavoidable. In those situations, where your parental rights are threatened or the other parent will not see reason, Ivy Graham is a proven trial lawyer who will advocate vigorously for you and your child.
Call The Law Office of Ivy L. Graham at 225-663-8959 or contact her online to arrange a consultation.