When a divorce occurs among a couple who has children, emotions often preclude those involved from thinking clearly. As a result, things are said in the heat of the moment, causing hurt feelings and placing numerous roadblocks in the way of reaching an agreement that benefits everyone, especially the children. Thus, when trying to determine the best interests of the children when discussing custody arrangements, it’s best to employ the services of Manhattan child custody lawyers to assist in the process. Not only will they have an in-depth understanding of the law as it applies to these situations, but they can also act as an objective party during the process, helping to ensure negotiations go smoothly.
Putting the Children First
In any child custody case, the court will always do what it considers to be in the child’s best interests. Even if one or both parents make requests or state they have certain needs that can only be met with specific custody arrangements, the court will consider the requests of the parents secondary to what will best benefit the child. While each child and child custody case is unique unto itself, the court will often use a number of general guidelines to help determine the best custody arrangements for both the child and parents.
Contact With Both Parents
If at all possible, the court will try to ensure the child will have contact with both parents after the divorce. However, this is contingent upon the court viewing both parents as positive influences in the child’s life. For example, if one parent has been found guilty of domestic violence or other abuse, or has a documented problem with substance abuse, the court may consider contact with that parent to be potentially harmful or even dangerous, and therefore deny one parent rights to custody or visitation. In these cases, the court may instead allow the child to have visits with other family members who are considered safe and reliable. Additional information about this can be found at www.nycdivorcelawyers.com/manhattan-child-custody-lawyers/.
Stable Home Environment
Since the court realizes the child’s life has been severely disrupted due to the divorce, it will make every effort possible to minimize future disruptions, and allow the child to settle down into a stable home environment. Because of this, courts often try to grant custody to the parent who will continue residing in the family’s current home, since this will let the child continue to attend the same school, interact with the same friends, and stay in an environment to which they have been accustomed. However, even if this is the case, it’s still possible for the other parent to argue they could provide the child with a better home environment and higher standard of living. In these instances, it’s best to work with Manhattan child custody lawyers, since they can provide the court with detailed information that may help sway the judge in another direction. More details about how this may occur can be found at www.berkbot.com/practice-areas/child-custody/.
Custody and Visitation
Even if one parent is granted sole physical custody by the court, the other parent is usually granted visitation rights. Designed so that they can have “frequent and meaningful” parenting time with the child, these visits can be supervised, unsupervised, or supervised by a therapist, social worker, or other individual assigned by the court. Because of this, even a parent who may have committed abuse can in some cases be granted visits with their child, so long as the court feels it can be done in a safe manner. And in any custody and visitation case, a parent can request the court modify the existing custody agreement, but this must be done through an attorney. Therefore, having an experienced and knowledgeable Manhattan child custody lawyer on your side can make a tremendous difference in the time you will have to visit with your child.
For many couples who are divorcing, negotiating custody and visitation agreements outside of court is a popular option. If this is the preferred method of both parents, Manhattan child custody lawyers can play a pivotal role in helping craft these agreements. Whether the divorce is amicable or contested, negotiating these agreements outside of court will offer numerous advantages, such as giving both parents more flexibility in deciding custody and visitation, and also making it easier to modify the agreements at a later date. By using Manhattan child custody lawyers in these instances, custody and visitation can be a much easier topic to discuss.
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