Legal Help: Getting Hurt on the Street

Why Informal Child Custody Arrangements Are Bad

Many people handle child custody issues without a formal agreement. They may be trying to co-parent nicely with their ex or at least minimize the confrontation level. However, it is unwise to maintain an informal agreement for any length of time. You should contact a child custody lawyer and start working on a formal structure for the following three reasons.

Educational and Medical Decisions

At some point, a parent or custodian will need the legal ability to render educational and medical decisions. While it's common for schools and hospitals to go along with informal custody, you may run into a stickler. Legal decision-making tends to be more of an obstacle for people like grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, or other individuals standing in loco parentis.

Also, never assume that you'll have full power as a biological parent in these situations. The other parent could disagree with a decision. Suppose you want to enroll your child at a private or religious school. Your ex might not like the school. They also might think it's too expensive. The best approach is to have a formal child custody agreement that outlines how the two parents will resolve these questions.


Time with each parent is a central part of child custody law. Without a formal agreement, either parent may start to infringe on the other parent's rights. They might push for more time with the kid. In other cases, they might not feel bound to spend much time with the child at all.

A child custody attorney can help you understand what the law says about time with your child. Especially if you feel the other parent is unfairly limiting your time with your kid, a formal agreement can protect your rights. You may also need to sue to enforce your rights so it's wise to have a child custody lawyer involved before that happens.

Documenting Problems

Until you enter into a formal legal process, documenting problems can be challenging. If you eventually have to sue, a judge's first questions will mostly cover what the history of the case has been. A judge has an easier time entering a court order if there is a documented history of problems.

Particularly if you know that the other parent can be challenging to deal with, setting up formal custody involves the court early on. This creates a legal paper trail that will aid your arguments if problems appear down the road.

About Me

Legal Help: Getting Hurt on the Street

I never gave a lot of thought to needing a lawyer until I was injured while walking down a sidewalk. The accident happened when a biker decided to use the sidewalk instead of the street, and plowed into me as he turned a corner. What followed was a lesson in what is involved with pedestrian accidents. I found a traffic attorney who took my case, and she was able to obtain a settlement that covered the legal fees and my medical bills. If you have been injured through the negligence of another party, you do need legal representation. Keep reading and I'll share how I found the right lawyer and what we did to ensure that my rights were fully protected in a court of law.