New York Child Custody and Visitation Lawyers
Child custody is among the most important areas of law in the State of New York. The majority parents want what’s best for their kids. Nevertheless, the legal system can be confusing and rather intimidating. It can be difficult to know how to stand for yourself and for your children in court. Our team of New York custody lawyers can stand for you.
What is Joint Custody?
Joint custody can be defined as a custodial provision in which both parents participate in the upbringing of their minor child or children. In New York Family Courts, joint custody is frequently contrasted with sole custody. In a sole custody arrangement, only one parent acts in the primary parenting role in the upbringing of their child.
Joint Custody: Never Presumed
The Family Court of New York doesn’t begin any child custody case with the assumption that joint custody the best option for children. You will need to collaborate with a New York City custody and visitation lawyer in order to file your petition for joint custody. You will have to demonstrate to the court the reason that you believe it’s in the best interests of the child to share custody with both parents.
Even disagreements during marriage don’t have to stop a qualified parent from having joint custody. It is not so important that the parents get along with each other. What is key is whether they can reasonably cooperate for the good of the children.
“Best Interests of the Child” Benchmark
When a court hands down decisions in custody cases, they come to those decisions based on what they believe to be “the best interests of the child”. The court considers who’s been the primary caregiver for the child up until this point. The judge’s consideration begins with where the child lives now, where they go to school and which parent is most capable of providing shelter and consistency. A judge will also assess the parenting skills of both parents. The question of either parent’s history of domestic violence will weigh heavily in the judge’s verdict. All detail, down to a parent’s work schedule, can come under scrutiny in making custody decisions.
In the vast majority of custody cases, judges award at least some parenting time to both of the parents. The objective of the court is for children to have an opportunity to build a strong relationship with both of their parents in whatever arrangement works best for the child’s health and safety. No two cases are alike. Therefore, it’s crucial to take great care in preparing your case for the court’s consideration.
Here are some tips for Success in Joint Custody
#1: Enlist the services of a lawyer that focuses on establishing joint custody
The lawyer you retain will be the most important part of getting custody. The unfortunate fact is that divorce law and parental law are some of the most treacherous cases. It can be tremendously adversarial. Instead of playing into this, you should hire a lawyer that is fair with each case and works hard to foster joint custody agreements as opposed to bitter court proceedings. Filing for joint custody and settling the case as quickly as possible is less expensive and traumatic for you and probably better for your child.
#2: Do the best you can to build a good rapport with your ex
No matter what may take place in your legal matter, it is critical that you reach out to your spouse and have a friendly chat about how the two of you will raise your children outside of the relationship. You may be surprised how much goodwill can be fostered through honest discussion. By establishing this rapport, the two of you can do a lot of this work outside of contentious court battles and can instead do what is best for each other and your kids. Your child custody and visitation attorney can also be there to help you out in mediation.
#3: Make certain you are abreast of the law and the details of your case while it is playing out
It is your responsibility to know what the New York custody laws say when going through your case. This will keep you in touch with visitation rights and what you need to do to file a petition to change any standing arrangements. Keep in contact with your lawyer as well so that they are able to answer questions that that might come up during the process at any time.
What if I don’t get joint custody?
In the lion’s share of custody of cases, both parents are awarded significant amounts of parenting time with their children. Even if you didn’t get joint custody, the chances are high that you will still have significant time with your children. Where deep concerns exist, a parent might have parenting time only under limited conditions such as orders not to consume alcohol or substances. A parent may have supervised visitation if the court feels that it’s best for the children’s safety.
Who Is Eligible to Be Awarded Visitation of a Child in a New York Family Court?
Visitation rights are basically reserved for members of the immediate family of the children in question. The term “immediate family” covers either one of the parents, their siblings and half-siblings, and their grandparents. A Family Court judge will rule as to whether visitation with the party petitioning is in their best interest. A child’s parent has a right to be allowed frequent and meaningful visitation with them, unless it can be demonstrated in family court that those visits would somehow be detrimental to the child.
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