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Always finishing the course

Attorney Gregory P. Lee

  • Both parents are presumed “fit” unless evidence demonstrates otherwise.

  • Children generally reside with the parent who has demonstrated an ability to care for them and put their needs first.

  • Non-custodial parents get and deserve liberal visitation unless they pose a serious physical or emotional threat to the child.  This visitation is as much the child’s need and right as the parent’s.

  • “Legal custody” is usually shared, allowing both parents the right to review records and have input into major decision.

  • “Physical custody” sets the residence of the children with one spouse or the other.
  • “Shared physical custody”  is granted only when both parents can agree to work together and to share approximate equal time with the children. 

  • Physical custody determines which parent must pay child support.
In most divorces and parental matters, the parties can see through their own hurt and anger to do what is best for the children.  Even if other problems make the uncontested process impossible, the parties agree with whom the children will live.  In the great majority of cases, the children live with the mother, and the father has a schedule to see them.  Both parents share decision-making rights, and consult over major issues.

Some see this as prejudice for women, or against men.  In the majority of cases, though evidence will show that the mother sacrifices more time and career opportunities to care for the children, and is better situated to continue this practice.  Despite changes in our society, men still spend more time caring for the children by engaging the working world to earn a living. 

When the mother has significant issues of her own that affect her ability to parent  — serious mental health problems, serious addiction, violence or abuse, true neglect  or other difficulties — fathers must consider seeking custody.  Custody litigation should never be lightly commenced. 

Custody battles are hard on the children.  Even parents with the best of reasons for a custody litigation  put the children directly “in the middle” of the divorce.  Children naturally want to be able to love and care for both parents, even if one parent is unstable, mentally ill, even abusive.  Thus, the need for a custody litigation must be reasonably determined before one is started.

Custody battles are also costly.  Pre-trial expert investigations are required, usually paid for by the parties.  These can include Guardians ad Litem, psychological evaluations, and other independent reviews.  Pre-trial discovery is often extensive.  The court may determine that the children involved need representation — again, the parties are often ordered to pay that cost.

Mr. Lee has successfully litigated for his clients on both sides of custody issues.  When one parent is clearly unable to properly care for or deal with the children, he acts to protect the children  through the court system.  Keeping the children safe and cared for is the primary goal in these difficult cases.  Results may include changes of custody, supervised visitation, and other appropriate means for keeping the children physically and emotionally safe.


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