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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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Queens Child Custody Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | January 22, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 19, 2023)

Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 01:12 pm


Queens Child Custody Lawyers: A Helpful Guide for Parents

Going through a custody battle can be one of the most stressful times for a parent. There’s so much uncertainty, and the stakes feel so high when it comes to your children. As a fellow parent in Queens, I totally get it. I went through my own brutal custody fight a few years back. Let me tell you—it was rough. I felt like the legal system was stacked against me, and I had no idea what my rights were or how to advocate for myself.

That’s why I put this article together. Consider it a cheat sheet for navigating the confusing world of child custody law here in Queens. I did tons of research and spoke to several excellent custody lawyers in the borough. I wanted to pass along the knowledge so you don’t go into this fight blind like I did. Read on for info on New York custody laws, how judges make decisions, legal strategies that work, and my top attorney recommendations.

New York Child Custody Laws: The Basics

When determining custody in New York, there are a few key principles the courts follow:

  • The best interests of the child are paramount. Judges will make rulings based on what they believe will be best for the physical, emotional, and intellectual wellbeing of the child(ren).
  • Custody decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. There are no hard-and-fast rules, as every family’s situation is different.
  • Children have a right to a relationship with both parents. Judges will try to facilitate this by awarding joint or shared custody when appropriate.
  • If the parents cannot decide on a custody arrangement, the court will impose one. This usually happens through litigation, but parents are encouraged to make agreements through mediation if possible.

New York recognizes two types of child custody:

  1. Physical custody – Who the child lives with and who makes day-to-day decisions regarding the child.
  2. Legal custody – Who makes major decisions about the child’s health, education, religion, etc.

Physical custody can be sole (child lives with one parent most of the time), joint (child splits time between both parents), or a hybrid of the two. Legal custody can be joint or sole.

How Judges Make Custody Decisions in Queens

Judges have a lot of discretion when awarding child custody in Queens. They’ll consider many factors when determining what’s in the child’s best interests. Some of the biggest factors include:

  • The child’s preference – If the child is mature enough to express a thoughtful opinion on custody, the judge will consider it. But the child’s preference is rarely decisive on its own.
  • Parent-child relationship – Which parent has the closest bond with the child? Who has been the primary caregiver?
  • Parenting abilities – Which parent has better parenting skills? Who can provide more stability?
  • Child’s needs – What is the child’s age, developmental stage, etc.? Which parent can better meet the child’s needs?
  • Parent availability – The time each parent has available to spend with the child.
  • Sibling relationships – Keeping siblings together whenever possible.
  • Domestic violence – Allegations and evidence of domestic violence will impact the custody decision.

Judges receive input from custody evaluations, and will also consider any other relevant factors on a case-by-case basis.

Developing a Winning Custody Strategy

To improve your chances of getting the custody outcome you want, work closely with an experienced Queens custody attorney. Some effective strategies include:

  • Submitting affidavits from people familiar with you as a parent demonstrating your strong parenting abilities and relationship with your child.
  • Seeking an independent custody evaluation early and making sure the evaluator gets a complete picture of you as a hands-on, loving parent.
  • Asking the judge to interview your child in chambers to learn the child’s custody preferences.
  • Collecting evidence of domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse or other issues that could impact the other parent’s custody.
  • Being open to compromise. Judges prefer shared custody arrangements that promote both parents’ involvement.

An attorney can help gather favorable evidence and advise you on the best legal arguments to make to the judge. Don’t go it alone in a custody battle if you can avoid it.

Common Defenses in Queens Custody Cases

If your ex is seeking sole or primary physical custody, some defenses you can raise with your lawyer include:

  • No evidence of unfitness – Argue there is no proof you are an unfit parent. Custody should not be denied without evidence you’ve harmed the child.
  • Status quo – Argue it’s in the child’s best interests to maintain the custody arrangement he/she is used to.
  • Friendly parent – Show you can co-parent peacefully and encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent.
  • Child’s preference – If your child wants to live with you, make that clear to the judge.
  • Domestic violence – If your ex has abused you, raise this as a safety concern.

A skilled attorney can help craft the right defense strategy and arguments to defeat the other parent’s bid for sole custody.

Using Mediation for Queens Custody Disputes

Before going to court, New York law requires divorcing parents to attempt mediation first. Mediation is less adversarial, less expensive, and gives you more control over the agreement. Plus judges prefer custody arrangements the parents have voluntarily agreed to.

That said, mediation isn’t right for every case. It likely won’t work if there has been domestic violence or if your ex refuses to compromise. Consult your attorney on whether mediation is worth pursuing or if you’re better off litigating.

Finding the Best Queens Child Custody Lawyers

The attorney you choose can have a huge impact on your custody case. Look for these qualities when selecting legal representation:

  • Extensive experience handling Queens custody disputes
  • In-depth knowledge of local judges and their tendencies
  • Good reputation for achieving favorable outcomes
  • Strong litigation skills for court battles
  • Comfortable negotiating out-of-court settlements
  • Respectful and responsive client service

Based on those criteria, here are my top attorney recommendations in Queens:

The Custody Center

“I used the Custody Center and was really impressed. They have an entire team focused exclusively on custody cases. My lawyer was really aggressive and helped me get full physical custody of my daughter.”

Phone: 718-520-1013 | Website

Boyar & Genn

“Boyar & Genn worked wonders on my custody case. My ex had a fancy lawyer from Manhattan, but my attorney from Boyar was way sharper and really knew the Queens judges and what arguments would appeal to them.”

Phone: 718-268-2616 | Website

Pardes Law Firm

“I used Pardes for my recent custody battle. Very knowledgeable attorneys and they have a holistic approach looking at custody through the lens of the child’s overall well-being. I’d recommend them to any parent.”

Phone: 718-591-5353 | Website

Those are my top picks for Queens child custody attorneys. I hope this guide gives you a good overview of how custody decisions are made in New York and what legal strategies work best. Hang in there—you’ve got this! Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.


New York State Unified Court System – Child Custody

LawNY – New York Child Custody Law Overview

DivorceNet – New York Child Custody Laws


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