Family law issues can be complex. Whether you are seeking divorce, trying to modify child custody or spousal support, or navigating issues related to adoption, you need a legal adviser that has a deep understanding of local family laws and can help you find your best path forward. Your family lawyer can also explain options outside of traditional court litigation such as mediation and collaborative law.
Child custody is an area of family law Family Lawyer Custody that is often hotly contested by parents who want what they believe to be the best for their children. Unfortunately, it is not always possible for parents to agree on what is in their children’s best interests and a judge must decide the outcome of custody cases.
In New York, there are two types of child custody: legal and physical. Legal custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions about their child’s life such as religion, education and medical care. Usually, parents share legal custody but sometimes one parent is granted sole custody. In either case, both parents must work together to make decisions for their child.
Physical custody refers to where a child lives. Generally, this is not shared and is awarded to one parent. The judge will look at the parent that has been the primary caregiver for the child as well as other factors such as living arrangements and how the home is maintained. Generally, the mother has physical custody of infants and toddlers while the father has physical custody of older children.
A judge may award shared custody where the parents can agree to a parenting time (visitation) schedule and can work together to make decisions about their child’s health, welfare and lifestyle. This type of arrangement is common with separated and divorcing couples who are able to compromise.
If you are unable to come up with a reasonable parenting time agreement with your spouse, the judge may order a custody evaluation. In this situation, a psychologist or psychiatrist well educated and trained in family centered concerns will be appointed to evaluate your child’s needs and will prepare a report for the judge to use in making a decision on custody.
If your current custody arrangement is no longer in your child’s best interests, it is important to seek the advice of a NYC custody modification attorney as soon as possible. A legal adviser can assist you with filing the appropriate paperwork and help you convince a judge that what you are asking for is in your child’s best interest. Please call this office today to schedule your free consultation. This law firm cares deeply about parental rights and will fight hard for you and your child. It is what they do every day.