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Child Custody Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas

If you are contemplating a divorce that involves children, your priority is to make sure that your children are provided with the care and love they need. For that reason, you need to pay close attention to issues pertaining to child custody. Since determining child custody is always a sensitive and emotionally demanding matter, you might want the assistance of a skilled attorney at Jeffers Law Office.  

The child custody attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, can help you develop a winning strategy to sway the outcome of your case in your favor. With an office in Overland Park, Attorney Mark Jeffers also serves clients throughout Johnson County, including Leawood, Olathe, Shawnee, and Lenexa. 

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Establishing a Child Custody Arrangement

When going through a divorce, there are two paths to establishing child custody: contested and uncontested.  

  1. In a contested child custody situation, parents do not agree on the terms of their custody arrangement and need to take their case to a family court. If that is the case, the judge will use their best judgment in establishing the custody that would be most appropriate to protect the best interests of the child.  

  1. In contrast, uncontested child custody happens when parents work together to establish a child custody arrangement. You and the other parent can agree on the terms of your child custody arrangement and then present your agreement to the court for approval. This is usually the quickest, less hostile, and less expensive option for establishing a child custody arrangement.  

Whether you choose the contested or uncontested option, it is important to seek legal counsel from a child custody attorney in Overland Park, Kansas. A skilled attorney will give you the best chance of arriving at the most favorable arrangement possible.  

Different Types of Child Custody

Parents should be able to differentiate between three main types of custody: joint, sole, and divided.  

  • Joint custody means that both parents will have equal rights to participate in making decisions as to major issues concerning the upbringing of their children. Neither parent is to be unilaterally making major decisions. Parents are expected to consult and confer with one another prior to making major decisions.

  • Sole custody means that one parent has the sole decision making authority over major issues concerning the upbringing of their children.

  • Divided custody is when there is more than one child involved in the custody arrangement. One parent may have primary custody of one child, while the other parent may have primary custody of another child. 

Another distinction to understand concerning child custody is the difference between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions regarding the child’s growth and development, such as education, religion, and medical care. Physical custody determines where the child will reside.  

Factors Considered in Determining Custody

The primary consideration for Kansas courts in child custody cases is the best interest of the child. There are several factors a judge may consider when determining custody, including but not limited to: 

  • The wishes of the parents

  • The desires of a child of sufficient age and maturity

  • The age of the child

  • The child’s adjustment to home and school 

  • The mental and physical health of all involved parties 

  • The evidence of spousal or child abuse 

  • The ability and willingness of each parent to attend to the child’s needs 

  • The level of cooperation between the parents 

Everyone’s situation is unique, which is why the factors that could affect your child custody arrangement may vary from one case to another. You need to discuss your case with a child custody attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, to know what to expect in your custody proceedings and what you can do to keep your children with you.  

Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement

Even after a court has made a custody ruling, it is possible to modify the arrangement. If you want to modify an existing child custody arrangement, you must show that there has been a material change in circumstances that justifies a change in custody and/or that the proposed change is in the best interest of the child.

Examples of material changes could include one parent relocating, changes in employment (i.e., job loss), or substantial changes in the child’s needs. Kansas courts will also consider modifying an existing child custody arrangement if there is evidence of neglect, substance use, and/or physical or emotional abuse.  

If both parents are in agreement on the changes to the custody arrangement, the process can go smoothly. However, if there is no agreement between you and the other parent, you will want to seek legal counsel when modifying an existing child custody arrangement to assist you with the process.

Child Custody Attorney Serving Overland Park, Kansas

With child custody being such a sensitive and emotionally-charged matter, it is vital to work with an attorney at Jeffers Law Office to guide you through this difficult time. The child custody attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, will strategize with you so can obtain a fair and favorable result in your case. Contact Attorney Mark Jeffers today to schedule a free initial telephone consultation.