A Child’s Best Interest

Thirteen years ago, Jill* came to Levitt & Quinn for help with a dissolutionwhen her daughter Abigail was just two years old. Jill has had primary custody of her young daughter since that time. Over the years, Jill and her ex-husband have experienced a more and more contentious co-parenting relationship. As a result, matters ended up back in the courtroom on several occasions, and recently Abigail’s father demanded primary custody. Jill returned to Levitt & Quinn for help. Her very low income qualified her for the Kids Fund’s free services, and attorney Jenny Skoble represented her in court.

Following that hearing, at a court-ordered evaluation, Jill became convinced that the best course of action might be  to agree to Abigail spending more time with her father. Abigail’s father responded positively to Jill’s willingness to consider the shift, and both parents decided to have lunch together and discuss their need for better communication. They then returned to the evaluation and, without need for a court hearing, signed an agreement in which Jill retains primary custody and Abigail spends more time with her father. The end result is less contentious co-parenting and less stress for Abigail. In Los Angeles, over 80% of people in family law court go unrepresented when addressing issues greatly impacting their children’s lives. The feeling of vulnerability caused by facing these issues alone can lead to clouded judgment and make it difficult to focus on the children involved in the case. Feeling secure with an attorney at her side allowed Jill to focus on her daughter’s best interests, and her daughter’s father followed her lead.

*not client’s real name.

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