Westport Child Custody Lawyer

Our Westport child custody lawyers have a firm understanding of the types of child custody and parenting plans that benefit children and parents alike. Parenting plans must be fair, flexible, and in the best interest of the minor child(ren). With many parents working long hours, commuting significant distances to and from work, and traveling for business, the notion of a “typical workday” is largely a thing of the past. Our Westport Child Custody Lawyers offer creative solutions to fit the needs of each client and family. The term “child custody” can be broken down into two separate definitions, legal custody, and physical custody. Legal custody addresses which parent has the right to make major decisions concerning the child(ren). Major decisions include those relating to a child’s education, health/medical, and religion. Based upon our experiences as Westport child custody lawyers we estimate that over 95% of Connecticut parents have joint legal custody. It is certainly the exception for a parent to have sole legal custody.

Physical custody addresses the schedule of which parent has time with the minor child on a given day. A parent who is with a child one day a week has physical custody of that child on that day. At times, language is written into a divorce agreement establishing a child’s residence for school purposes.

If the parents cannot agree on joint legal custody the process is called a contested custody case. This will mean that third parties will become an integral part of the case. For example, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for the minor child(ren) to investigate and make a recommendation as to the best interest of the child(ren) or an Attorney for the Minor Child (AMC) may be appointed to represent the child(ren). After hearing all the relevant information in such a case a court will decide custody based on the “best interest of the child(ren)”. The “best interest” factors for the court to consider are as follows, but the court is not required to assign any weight to any of the factors that it considers:

  • The temperament and developmental needs of the child;
  • The capacity and the disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child;
  • Any relevant and material information obtained from the child, including the informed preferences of the child;
  • The wishes of the child’s parents as to custody;
  • The past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, the child’s siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the best interests of the child;
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage such continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent as is appropriate, including compliance with any court orders;
  • Any manipulation by or coercive behavior of the parents to involve the child in the parents’ dispute;
  • The ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child;
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community environments;
  • The length of time that the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity in such environment provided the court may consider favorably a parent who voluntarily leaves the child’s family home pendente lite to alleviate stress in the household;
  • The stability of the child’s existing or proposed residences, or both;
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability of a proposed custodial parent or another party, in and of itself, shall not be determinative of custody unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interests of the child;
  • The child’s cultural background;
  • The effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, if any domestic violence has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual or the child;
  • Whether the child or a sibling of the child has been abused or neglected, as defined respectively in section 46b-120; and
  • Whether the party satisfactorily completed participation in a parenting education program established per section 46b-69b.

Our Westport child custody attorneys encourage parents to collaborate on issues of child custody. However, in some situations, litigation may be necessary. Our Westport child custody lawyers will vigorously pursue the custody and parenting schedule that works for our client and their children. When a successful agreement is reached, children can emerge from the process with two parents still in their lives, and the difficult feelings associated with divorce should then be mitigated.

During the pendency of the divorce or at any time after it has occurred, either parent may wish to relocate with the minor children. These cases can be highly charged and emotional. Our Westport child custody lawyers have tenaciously and successfully represented individuals on both sides of this issue.

In addition to cases involving initial determinations of child custody, our Westport child custody lawyers handle post-judgment enforcement (contempt) and modification of custody and parenting plans. Please contact Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC at 203-222-4949.

  • Avatar Patricia Mennitt ★★★★★ 3 weeks ago
  • Patricia Mennitt ★★★★★
    Jaime was with me every step of the way. She supported me in all of my decisions and provided with names of experts that could help me with other aspects of the divorce such as a certified divorce financial analyst.
    Both Jaime and Eric
    … More made sure I knew all of my options and the consequences of any of my choices both financially and emotionally. They neither pushed me to go to court nor discouraged me; they did provide the pros and cons.
    They treated me with respect and never talked down to me. They understood the emotional aspects of coping with a contentious divorce. Their experience working with clients similar to my ex-husband was invaluable.
    I have a child with special needs. This complicates the divorce process. Jaime has experience in the ramifications this has on divorce and helped me navigate the necessary negotiations.
  • Avatar Teresa Rainieri ★★★★★ a month ago
  • Teresa Rainieri ★★★★★
    Nicole DiGiose was retained for an emergency situation. Her empathy and understanding of my priorities offered sustenance to myself and my family. Nicole’s representation and knowledge defended against unjust accusations and facilitated … More a resolution within a timely manner.
  • Avatar Rob Petersen ★★★★★ 4 months ago
  • Rob Petersen ★★★★★
    Nicole DiGoise represented me in a case where the gap to reach a settlement was pretty wide at the beginning. There is nobody that I can recommend more highly. Nicole is highly accountable, responsive, disciplined, reasonable and compassionate. … More And Nicole knows the law. Among other things, Nicole has run three marathons. She will be with you every step of your journey. She also knows when to engage the partners (in my case Carole Orland) who provided a deep bench of legal expertise and experience I know I couldn't find anyplace else. Nicole is a David who you can put against any Goliath. If I could give Nicole DiGoise and Carole Orland six stars, I would.
  • Avatar Amy Peterson ★★★★★ 5 months ago
  • Amy Peterson ★★★★★
    I switched after being treated horribly by another law firm. I told Carol Orland and Chris DeMatte that I just wanted to be treated as a human being. The level of care that the team treated me with was well beyond my expectations! I … More trusted the team with strategy and they kept the negotiations on a tight time frame that was simply unachievable by others. They were the quintessential professionals, and always one step ahead. I regret not having hired the team in the first place.
  • Avatar Ted Seides ★★★★★ 3 months ago
  • Ted Seides ★★★★★
    Eric and Nicole were terrific to work with, understood the issues, and got us to a conclusion. What more can you ask for?!!!
  • Avatar Damon Rein ★★★★★ 3 months ago
  • Damon Rein ★★★★★
    Eric Broder proved to be an excellent attorney. He was incredibly professional, responsive, super-smart, kind and ultimately got me a good, fair divorce settlement. I could not recommend him more highly.
  • Avatar amanda aaron ★★★★★ a year ago
  • amanda aaron ★★★★★
    Eric Broder and his firm are phenomenal. I refer clients with complicated legal issues involving custody and finances and he is able to thoroughly and thoughtfully work to accomplish clients' goals. I can't recommend him enough. … More His partner, Carole, is also fantastic; she is extremely capable and always prepared.
  • Avatar steve luttinger ★★★★★ 3 months ago
  • steve luttinger ★★★★★
    I have relied upon Eric Broder's counsel over the past several years to get me through contentious matrimonial issues. His astute legal and business advise helped me navigate difficult times. His legal strategies helped me mitigate … More complicated legal issues. He is a great lawyer and is easy to talk to. He listens closely to what you have to say. At the end of a long ordeal, I consider Eric a friend, who I can call when I need help.
  • Avatar kelly C ★★★★★ a year ago
  • kelly C ★★★★★
    Nicole and Carole were everything I needed them to be during a very difficult time... professional, knowledgeable, compassionate and kind. They guided me through what could have been a confusing process and made me feel comfortable and … More confident each step of the way.
  • Avatar Jennifer Mines ★★★★★ a year ago
  • Jennifer Mines ★★★★★
    When I reached out to Broder & Orland, I was still in shock from my situation. Chris DeMattie was a calm and compassionate voice of reason at every turn and he expertly navigated me through a difficult 14 months. He was smart, professional, … More prompt, efficient yet thorough, and always acted with integrity. His advice was measured, fair, creative when needed, and also realistic. Yet it always felt as though I was interacting with a trusted friend or colleague. I felt heard and validated- no question was too small or unreasonable (even when probably asked multiple times- thank you for the patience!). The financial settlement Chris successfully negotiated for me let me enter the next stage of my life with security, and the peace of mind of having him in my corner throughout the divorce process was priceless.
  • Avatar Ramy Saad ★★★★★ a year ago
  • Ramy Saad ★★★★★
    I worked with Eric Broder and Nicole DiGiose on a difficult divorce after mediation failed. Both Eric and Nicole gave me great advice and helped me settle the divorce as quickly as possible. Their underlying theme of “do the right thing” … More helped in logically making decisions rather than letting emotional responses continue to make a difficult process more painful for both me and my children. I appreciate their diligence and responsiveness with my issues. I have already recommended them to other friends in the same situation.
  • Avatar Jim Thimons ★★★★★ a year ago
  • Jim Thimons ★★★★★
    I had the pleasure of working with attorney Jaime Dursht on a complex issue that required both a high level of legal expertise as well extensive communications. She was the consummate professional in all regards and demonstrated a highly … More evolved knowledge of the law as well as a commitment to excellence in the resolution of the matter. It was a pleasure working with her and the team at Broder & Orland LLC