1850 M Street NW,, Suite 640, Washington, District of Columbia 20036
202-753-0042 202-753-0042

Washington, DC Family Law Firm Handles Child Custody Disputes

Attorneys work hard to protect the interests of your children

During a divorce, Douglas & Boykin PLLC shares your goal of preventing the dissolution of your marriage from harming your relationship with your children. In nearly every case, the children’s
interests are best served by maintaining their emotional bonds with both parents through appropriate custody and visitation arrangements. Like you, the attorneys at Douglas & Boykin stay focused on protecting the interests of each child who’s affected by the divorce.

What child-custody arrangements are possible in Washington, DC?

Several types of child custody arrangements are available including:

  • Sole legal custody — A parent with sole legal custody has the authority to make the major decisions about the child’s welfare, including the child’s healthcare, education, and religious upbringing.
  • Sole physical custody — A child lives with a parent who has sole physical custody. While the child spends most of the time with the custodial parent, the other parent generally has visitation rights.
  • Joint legal custody — Joint legal custody gives the parents joint decision-making powers concerning the child’s welfare and upbringing.
  • Joint physical custody — In a joint physical custody arrangement, the child spends an approximately equal amount of time with each parent.

The options can be mixed and matched. For example, the parents may have joint legal custody with one parent having sole physical custody. Courts operate under the legal presumption that joint legal custody is in the best interest of a minor child.

What factors does the court consider when making child-custody decisions?

In general, the law requires courts to consider the best interests of the child when establishing a custody arrangement. In reaching a custody decision, the court considers the following factors:

  • The prior involvement of each parent in the child’s life
  • The child’s preference, if the child is mature enough to offer meaningful input
  • Each parent’s preference
  • The child’s current relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community
  • A history of abuse
  • A history of domestic violence
  • The mental and physical health of all parties

If there is a significant change in circumstances regarding any of the above factors as time passes, either parent can seek a modification of the child custody order.

Seek legal guidance regarding your child-custody issues

To talk with a family law attorney at Douglas & Boykin PLLC, contact the office at 202-753-0042 or contact us online. Douglas & Boykin’s office is near Metro stops at Farragut North, Dupont Circle (Red Line) and Farragut West (Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines) in Washington, DC. The firm serves the District of Columbia metropolitan area, which includes Northern Virginia and Maryland.