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Bronx Family Court Judge & Part Guide

Divorce: Navigating Custody and Visitation Rights

Divorce is filled with pain and difficulty. When you married, you thought you would be happy. You believe you had found your life partner, and that your relationship would last forever. That has not turned out to be the case. You must now face the realities of forging a new life out of the old one.

Prioritizing Your Children

Your children are your priority. Looking after their welfare and securing their future is essential. You should do your utmost to minimize the damage done to them by the divorce. Part of meeting this aim is ensuring that you remain in their lives. You must not surrender your parental rights, and you must fight every attempt to take them from you.

Understanding the Legal Landscape

The very moment you see that divorce is imminent, you must ready yourself for the struggle over custody and visitation rights. It may be your desire to settle matters amicably with your ex. However, this is not always possible, and you might not realize until you are well into the proceedings that your former spouse has no intention of dealing fairly with you.

Divorce does strange things to people. The gentle and kind person you thought you knew may become your most implacable foe. The best way to prepare for such a situation is to hire a lawyer who specializes in family law. You will need someone by your side who understands the law and has experience taking cases before a family court judge.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Factors Considered in Custody Determination

The judge who hears your child custody case will decide with only one criterion in mind: what is in the best interest of the child. They will consider the following factors in making this determination:

  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Each parent’s mental and physical health
  • Verified incidents of domestic violence
  • Each parent’s work schedules
  • The child’s desires if they are of age
  • The parents’ ability to cooperate with one another

Judges rely only on clear evidence to come to their decisions, so you must make sure that you are able to present your abilities as a parent in their truest and best light. There are a number of things for you to think about.

Negotiating Custody Arrangements

If your ex can provide a loving, nurturing, and stable environment, and does want to share the responsibilities of parenting with you, then you may be able to work out a joint custody agreement. If you think your child is better off living with your ex but you want a generous visitation schedule, then you may agree to them having sole custody. No matter the arrangement, your main aim must be to keep your parental rights secure and free from infringements.

Legal Support for Maintaining Rights

Maintaining your visitation rights may also require the services of a family lawyer. A family court judge will suspend the right of the non-custodial parent to see their child if they have reason to believe that parent is not mentally fit, uses drugs, has abused the child, or does not have a home that is safe and healthy for the child to be in. If your ex has claimed that you are unfit to your children for one or more of the above reasons, a family lawyer can help you disprove the claim and persuade the judge that your children are in a perfectly stable and nurturing environment when they are with you.

Addressing Relocation Concerns

Another common situation that non-custodial parents have to deal with is the desire of the custodial parent to move to a different city. New York state law stipulates that the custodial parent must have the non-custodial parent’s consent before they can move the child to a place that makes access to them difficult.

The fact that your ex has sole custody of your kids does not mean they can deny you the right to see them by moving far away. If your ex has taken this action without your approval, you can go to a family court judge and get an order that requires them to return your kids to you—or to someplace where you will be able to visit them regularly.


You may have many battles ahead of you, and they are best waged with a lawyer who possesses the knowledge, skill, insight, and experience to get an outcome that is in your favor. Family court judges act as arbiters and guides. They are mainly concerned with ensuring that changed family relations do not adversely affect the mental and physical health of children. When taking your case before such a judge, you want a legal representative who has a clear command of the evidence, a deep understanding of family court judges, and a solid grasp of the law.

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