The Right Custody And Visitation Plans For Your Children
Disputes over the best interests of children often bring out the worst traits in parents. An otherwise amicable divorce can turn testy when you can’t agree on terms of custody and visitation.
My name is Paul Petrillo. I am a family law lawyer in New Hampshire who has represented parents, including those from Nashua and Manchester, on both sides of custody disputes in divorce and paternity cases. I help you explore out-of-court solutions, but I am ready to fight for your parental rights in contested proceedings in the family courts of Rockingham and Hillsborough counties.
Understanding Custody And Parental Responsibility
Parents do not always understand their rights or have realistic expectations about child custody. I will help you define your goals and priorities for your children within the context of New Hampshire family law.
The courts assume that parents will share residential responsibility (physical custody) and decision-making responsibility (legal custody). Typically the child will live primarily with one parent and the other parent will have scheduled time (visitation). In some cases, the child may split time between households, such as alternate weeks or three days/four days.
If you cannot agree on custody and visitation, the court will decide a schedule for you. Beyond the amount of parenting time, you must agree to a parenting plan that includes:
- Specific overnights
- Extracurricular activities
- Holidays and vacations
- Daily contact with the child
- Communication with the other parent
I help clients “think outside the box” and negotiate parenting plans that are practical and flexible, yet clear and enforceable.
It is entirely possible that circumstances can change in the years following the divorce decree. I assist with post-decree modifications that can address changes to parenting plans and visitation.
Paternity And Parental Rights
Unmarried parents who never married have the same parental rights and responsibilities under the law. I represent mothers in paternity actions to compel the father to pay child support or spend time with his child. I represent fathers who are seeking to prove parentage and establish visitation rights or shared custody.
A DNA test is the easy part. Establishing a relationship with your child or working out the terms of co-parenting with a former partner is much harder. I encourage clients to proceed slowly and try mediation and negotiations before resorting to the courts. However, if your parental rights are on the line, I will fight for you in contested proceedings.
There Is Help. There Is A Solution.
Custody disputes have an impact on your children and foster mistrust between parents where cooperation is called for. I will help you focus on solutions rather than driving a bigger wedge. You will work directly with me, and I am always available to address your concerns.