When a breakup involves children, nothing is more important than securing their security and future. Our focus is to institute custody and parenting time that is optimal for all involved, while preserving family relationships. Our extensive knowledge in family, domestic relations, and juvenile courts, as well as experience in parenting coordinator and guardian ad litem
roles, allows us to advise clients on all options specifically related to their case.
- Parenting Plans. Frantz Ward works with clients to create detailed and customized parenting plans including shared parenting, which designates both parents as having custody and decision-making authority for their children. We advise our clients of their rights and options that are unique to their case, which can drive key provisions of the parenting plan including the parenting time schedule, how education and medical decisions will be made, and how child-related expenses will be paid.
- High-Conflict and Custody Disputes. When court is unavoidable, we are prepared to zealously represent our clients, including those in high-conflict relationships with communication issues and abuse; substance abuse by a parent; and involvement of significant others, step-parents, and other children. Frantz Ward is equipped to address the appointment of a guardian ad litem, forensic professionals (such as custody evaluators and other experts), court-ordered mediation, and the input and involvement of child counselors.
- Special Needs Children. We understand the intensity and complexity that special needs children bring to a breakup. Whether a child has autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or other special needs, these delicate issues should be addressed with care. We focus on preserving the relationship between the child and both parents, as well as the ongoing financial and special education needs. Our team can collaborate with other Frantz Ward attorneys, and other professionals and medical providers, to address related issues such as special needs trusts and estate planning, government sponsored programs and funding, and special education planning.
- Guardianship. When a special needs child becomes emancipated, we guide families through the guardianship application process to become the child’s legal custodian during adulthood. After 18-years-old, if a child does not have the capacity and competency to make decisions and take care of themselves, a guardianship may be appropriate. As the legal guardian, the applicant can continue his or her role in making decisions, authorizing healthcare, ensuring continued education, and protecting financial interests. While only one parent can be designated as guardian, the other parent may be entitled to visitation rights. An extension of shared parenting (verses guardianship) may also be appropriate depending on the county jurisdiction requirements.