Child Custody Cases Can Be An Emotional Process

Child custody issues are undoubtedly emotionally charged legal proceedings that have a profound impact on the lives of parents, children, and families as a whole. As experienced Middletown child custody lawyers, we deeply comprehend the intricate emotions and challenges that parents face when navigating this critical area of family law. During the custody process, every decision made carries significant weight in safeguarding the best interests of your child.

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, our dedicated legal team of child custody lawyers is here to offer compassionate guidance, unwavering support, and legal representation throughout this sensitive journey. With a profound understanding of Delaware’s child custody laws and an unwavering commitment to protecting the well-being of your children, we strive to achieve fair and favorable outcomes that serve the best interests of both you and your child.

If you are at the start or in the midst of a child custody battle or having difficulties arriving at child custody agreements, contact a child custody lawyer at Schmittinger & Rodriguez today for a consultation. We will evaluate your case, explain the entire process and how Delaware law pertains to your circumstances, explore the legal issues, and devise a plan on how to protect your rights and interests as well as those of your children.


Types of Child Custody in
Middletown, Delaware

When it comes to child custody issues in Delaware, various custody arrangements are available, each one defining the rights and responsibilities of parents in caring for and raising their children. Understanding these custody types is crucial for parents and legal professionals navigating the complexities of family law.

In Delaware, legal custody and physical custody are the primary forms of child custody, with several subcategories based on specific arrangements that best meet the unique needs of the child and the family dynamic.

  1. Legal Custody

    Legal custody refers to a parent’s authority to make important decisions about the child’s well-being and upbringing. These decisions typically revolve around areas such as education, healthcare, religious practices, and other significant aspects of the child’s life. When parents share legal custody, they are expected to collaborate and communicate effectively to make joint decisions that serve the best interests of the child.

  2. Physical Custody

    Physical custody relates to where the child primarily resides and spends the majority of their time. Delaware courts may award sole physical custody to one parent, granting the child a primary residence, while the other parent may have visitation rights. Alternatively, joint physical custody allows both parents to have significant and regular parenting time, and the child may spend substantial periods with each parent.

  3. Sole Custody

    In some cases, the court may award sole custody to one parent, granting them both legal and physical custody of the child. This means that one parent has the exclusive right to make decisions on behalf of the child and is the primary caregiver responsible for the child’s daily care and living arrangements.

  4. Joint Custody

    Delaware recognizes joint custody, which may be joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or a combination of both. Joint legal custody allows both parents to share the responsibility of making important decisions for the child, while joint physical custody enables the child to have significant periods of time living with each parent.

It is important to note that the court’s primary consideration in determining the type of custody arrangement is always the best interests of the child. Each case is unique, and the court will evaluate various factors, including the child’s age, health, relationship with each parent, and the ability of the parents to provide a stable and nurturing environment.

Experienced child custody attorneys, such as those at Schmittinger & Rodriguez, are committed to helping parents understand the implications of different custody arrangements and advocating for the most suitable and favorable custody plan that promotes the child’s overall well-being and happiness.

Get Started Today

Contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, we understand how difficult and stressful it can be to deal with a family law matter. It can be traumatic and emotionally charged.

Our team has decades of combined experience handling family law issues. We have a deep understanding of Delaware law and will provide dedicated legal representation throughout your case. Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing you with personalized attention and will fight hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case. If you or someone you love has a family law matter, contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez today and let us help you through this difficult time. We will work hard to get you the justice, security, and peace of mind that you deserve.

our reviews

What Our Clients Say

Brian Jenkins
Mr Catts went above and beyond to handle my complicated case. The level of professionalism is second to none. The staff and Mr. Catts were kind, courteous, and listened to my concerns with compassion. I would recomend this firm to anyone needing legal help. They earned my trust in am amazing way.
Linda Wilson
Mr Catts and his legal team went above and beyond for me. They never stopped pursuing all avenues to get the compensation that I deserved. The staff was courteous and showed compassion. I felt like they really cared about my injuries. I highly recommend their services to anyone
Tatiana Sida-Amor
I was recommended to this law office by my doctor after my car accident in the summer of 2021. I ended up working with Mr. Catts. I appreciate how forthcoming and hardworking he was about my case. The office is extremely professional to ensure that I got the best settlement that I could get. The open communication eased my mind and allowed me to handle things I needed to for myself. Definitely recommend them if you want lawyers that give you results.
Kathyjo Mays
I recommend them highly and have referred them to many of my friends and family. Very informative and def kept me up to date about my case. Schmittinger & Rodriguez def worked very hard for me.
Mary Zober
The staff is friendly and makes you feel comfortable. The firm worked on getting my settlement and kept me informed every step of the way.
Sharonda goode
Great experience! Doug Catts, Ryan and Ms. Kaye are awesome to work with. Very professional, friendly & knowledgeable. They are expensive. But get the job done & in a timely manner. I use Mr. Catts for all my legal needs.
Hot Box237
I will recommend this lawyer to any one, I feel like crying. He is kind, patient and a good listener. He solved your problem and at the end advice you. Thank you very much.
Cheryl Rowe
Doug is personable...assertive and he will get the job done!
Patsy Ware
Schmittinger and Rodriquez attorney Doug Catts is the best, I highly recommend him. As an attorney he is forthright, honest, transparent and sincere. Doug Catts and his staff are amazing.

Factors Considered in Child Custody Determinations

In Delaware, the primary consideration of the court is always the best interests of the child. The court carefully evaluates various factors to determine the most suitable custody arrangement that promotes the child’s overall well-being and stability.

  1. Child’s Age and Health: The age and physical health of the child play a crucial role in custody determinations. Younger children may require more frequent and consistent contact with a primary caregiver, while older children may have more input in the custody decision-making process.

  2. Emotional and Developmental Needs: The court assesses the emotional and developmental needs of the child, taking into account their unique personality, temperament, and any special considerations, such as educational requirements or therapeutic needs.

  3. Parent-Child Relationship: The quality of the relationship between each parent and the child is a significant factor. The court evaluates the level of involvement, emotional bond, and historical caregiving responsibilities of each parent.

  4. Stability and Continuity: Maintaining stability and continuity in the child’s life is essential for their well-being. The court may consider the child’s established routines, living arrangements, and community ties when determining custody.

  5. Parental Ability and Willingness: The court evaluates each parent’s ability and willingness to provide a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment for the child. Factors such as financial stability, parenting skills, and lifestyle are taken into consideration.

  6. Co-Parenting Capabilities: The court examines the parents’ willingness and ability to cooperate and communicate effectively in matters concerning the child’s upbringing. A willingness to support a healthy relationship with the other parent is highly regarded.

  7. Domestic Violence or Abuse: Any history of domestic violence or child abuse is treated with utmost seriousness by the court. The safety and well-being of the child are paramount, and appropriate protective measures may be put in place if necessary.

  8. Parent’s Physical and Mental Health: The physical and mental health of each parent is considered to ensure that the child’s care is not compromised by significant health issues.

  9. Child’s Preference: If the child is of sufficient age and maturity, the child’s wishes regarding custody may be taken into account by the court. However, the child’s preference is not the sole determinant in custody decisions.

  10. Siblings and Family Relationships: Maintaining sibling bonds and preserving important family relationships is a factor in custody determinations to promote the child’s sense of stability and emotional well-being.

The child custody lawyers at Schmittinger & Rodriguez are devoted to advocating for your parental rights and providing the strategic representation necessary to secure a custody arrangement that prioritizes the well-being and happiness of your child. Our decades of experience with family law matters and the family law legal system ensures that you have an experienced lawyer by your side during this difficult time.

Understanding Legal and Physical Custody

In Delaware child custody cases, the two primary types of custody that parents should be familiar with are legal custody and physical custody. Each type represents distinct rights and responsibilities concerning the child’s upbringing and living arrangements.

  1. Legal Custody

    Legal custody grants a parent the authority to make important decisions on behalf of the child. These decisions typically pertain to the child’s education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and other significant aspects of their life. When parents share legal custody, they must collaborate and communicate effectively to reach joint decisions in the child’s best interests.

  2. Physical Custody

    Physical custody determines where the child primarily resides and spends the majority of their time. If one parent has primary physical custody, the child resides with that parent most of the time, while the other parent may have visitation rights. In joint physical custody arrangements, the child spends significant periods living with both parents.

Understanding the nuances of custody is essential for parents navigating child custody matters in Delaware. As experienced family law attorneys, we are dedicated to guiding parents through the intricacies of custody determinations, protecting their parental rights, and striving to secure the most favorable custody arrangement that fosters the well-being and happiness of the child.

Child Support in Delaware

Child support is an important part of any child custody arrangement and provides financial assistance to the custodial parent. In Delaware, the amount of child support is determined by applying a formula that takes into account both parents’ incomes as well as other factors such as health insurance costs and daycare expenses. The court may also consider non-financial contributions made by each parent for the child’s welfare.

It is important to note that either parent may petition the court for a modification of their existing support order if there are substantial changes in circumstances or one party experiences an increase or decrease in income. The lawyers at Schmittinger & Rodriguez have vast experience with child support matters and can provide effective legal representation throughout the process.

Why Schmittinger & Rodriguez
Is Right For You

We recognize that child custody and support matters require sensitivity, and our team is dedicated to providing clients with the compassionate counsel they need during this difficult time. Our experienced family law attorneys are committed to protecting your parental rights and advocating for a resolution that prioritizes the best interests of your child. Contact us today to discuss your unique situation. YOUR CASE. OUR PRIORITY.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I represent myself in a child custody case?

While it is possible to represent yourself, it is highly advisable to seek legal representation from a Delaware child custody attorney in custody cases. An experienced child custody lawyer can help protect your rights and navigate the complex process.


How long does it take to resolve a family law case in Delaware?

The length of time it takes to resolve a family law case in Delaware varies depending on the complexity of the case and the parties involved. Some cases can be resolved quickly through negotiation or mediation, while others may require litigation and can take several months or even years to complete.

How long does the child custody process typically take in Delaware?

The duration of the child custody process can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether the parties can reach an agreement. On average, it may take several months to resolve a child custody dispute.

Can I include specific instructions about parenting decisions in my child custody agreement?

Yes, you can include specific provisions in your custody agreement regarding important parenting decisions, such as educational choices, extracurricular activities, or healthcare preferences. However, the court will ultimately ensure that these provisions align with the child's best interests.

Can I request supervised visitation for the other parent if I have concerns about their behavior?

Can I request supervised visitation for the other parent if I have concerns about their behavior?

Skip to content