When going through a divorce, there are many issues to be decided upon between the former spouses. Where divorces can get very emotional and intense is regarding the subject of child custody. The reason for this is that many parent struggle with giving up their right to see their child every single day in their own home and for special holidays. When going through a divorce, it is absolutely vital that you have a NYC child custody attorney representing you in order to get the best possibly custody decision for your children, asset division, and expedient procedures.
Physical Custody vs. Legal Custody
When deciding custody cases, custody is typically divided into the physical and legal components. Legal custody signifies which parent will make important decisions for the child’s well being until they are an adult. Physical custody in New York relates to where the children primarily live or whether there is a joint custody arrangement between the former spouses. Both physical and legal custody can be joint or sole depending on the individual circumstances of each divorce case between the former spouses.
How Our NYC Child Custody Firm Can Assist with Child Custody Matters
Obtaining child custody orders can be a very complex process because if the former spouses cannot agree, they have to go before a judge and get a court order or have a mediation session. Particularly if there are potential abusive circumstances involved or if one of the former spouses wants to relocate, the child custody battle can get very emotional and expensive quickly.
Our NYC child custody lawyers have many years of experience in dealing with all aspects of divorce cases. That being said, we also specialize in the process relating to child custody cases. The areas that our firm specializes in relating to child custody are: visitation agreements, custody arrangements, child support orders, enforcement of child support orders that have not been paid, child support order/defense, modification of existing support or custody orders, and paternity testing.
When to Seek Legal Representation
It is a very rare case when divorce can be resolved without an attorney. That being said, it is not impossible; however, if you are getting divorced, it is wise to speak to an attorney regarding your case. Usually, it is customary to meet multiple attorneys and ascertain which attorney is the best fit for your upcoming case based on skills and expertise. If the attorney sees no conflict of interest in taking on your case, then they will offer a retainer agreement in which a price for the representation is agreed upon. Once you retain an attorney, you may then begin to explore possible legal theories for your case.
When embarking upon a divorce and you know that there is going to be some conflict with your former spouse regarding custody or asset division, it is best to get a lawyer to look over the specifics of your case. Relating to custody, a lawyer will help you navigate the difficult and emotional aspects of custody battles. In fact, our firm has a great deal of experience in working with custody cases. Our approach deals with assessing the realistic schedule and situation of the former spouses and then to craft a plan to get the best possible results for our clients while simultaneously considering the children’s best interests in the long term. By using this method, we find that we are able to assist our clients in obtaining the best possible result during a difficult phase of their lives.
In order to learn more about how our NYC child custody law firm can assist you with your upcoming divorce case and child custody arrangement, consider reaching out to us today to schedule a consultation appointment. We would be elated to work with you in your upcoming divorce case.
How Will a Judge Decide Who Gets Custody?
If you are going through a divorce or custody battle, you probably have many questions about child custody. One of the most frequent questions that get asked is how a judge decides who gets custody of the minor children.
While the answer to this question varies from state to state, the judge will typically consider what is in the best interests of the children involved. If you are going through a divorce and have an agreement in place with regard to custody, the judge will typically sign off on that barring any unusual circumstances.
However, when a divorce is contested due to custody concerns, a judge will have to take several different factors into consideration before rendering a decision. Judges have the freedom to use any or all of the factors listed in determining how they will award custody of any minor children involved in a custody case.
Each case is different, but a judge will usually look at the following:
1. The child’s age
2. Each parent’s ability to take care of the child
3. The amount of time each parent can spend with the child
4. The environment in which each parent can care for the child
5. Prior parental drug, alcohol, or housing issues
6. The willingness of each parent to involve their former spouse in the child’s life following the decision of the court
7. The child’s relationship with both parents
8. Who has taken care of the child up to the filing of the case
9. Will the child have a safe place to live?
10. Will the child be subjected to abuse, neglect, or criminal activity?
11. The child’s preference
12. Who will provide more stability for the child?
13. Does one parent have an illness that could cause the child harm?
14. Each parent’s motivation for seeking custody of the child
Judges have their own prerogative in deciding custody issues depending on any of these factors. It is left up to their sole discretion as the judge will try to determine your future behavior based on your past.
The judge will always work toward honoring what he or she feels is completely in the best interests of the child involved in the case. The judge will focus entirely on what the child needs and not necessarily what each parent feels the child needs. In doing so, he or she will make the tough decision to award custody.
Judges have a lot of leeway in rendering a custody decision. Typically, judges want the best possible scenario for the child that will include both parents. Each situation is different, but to receive the best possible outcome in your custody case, you should remain as cooperative as possible with your child’s other parent, have a home that reflects a positive environment, and be able to create a loving home for your child.
When custody becomes an issue, it is best to hire an attorney who cares about your case to show the court that awarding custody to you will be in the best interests of the child.
How do you prove someone is an unfit parent?
When divorce or separation occurs, parents are given custody options. There is full custody with visitation, partial custody, joint custody, and many other situationally specific forms of custody. However, when one parent becomes unfit and unable to care for their children, the other parent or relative might fight for full custody for themselves based on the custodial parent’s lack of ability to properly care for his or her child. If you suspect your ex is an unfit parent, you must be able to prove it.
Know the Law in Your State
Every state is different as it pertains to child custody and unfit parents. However, there are some general factors you can expect to see pop up when you need to fight for custody. It’s also helpful to consult with a family law attorney to help you understand what will happen if you claim a parent is unfit, how you can do it, and what you can expect from the process.
Find the Evidence
What do you think is going to happen when you file a petition stating your child’s parent is unfit? You must prove this is true, and you need all the evidence you can gather. Does the other parent have a drug problem or an alcohol problem? Does your child show up with bruises and claim their other parent abuses them? These are things you need to know, and you need to find evidence of abuse of any kind. If the other parent is going through health issues that make them unfit, you need to know these things and find the evidence.
If you want to prove your child’s parent is unfit, you need irrefutable evidence this is true. No court wants to break up the relationship between a parent and a child, which means they will do whatever they can to fight this kind of accusation to preserve this relationship. You need video or some sort of signed testimony or even witnesses.
Start the Legal Process
This is a lengthy process. You need to file specific paperwork, you need to have your child evaluated by a mental health professional, and you need to go through a court process. It will not be short, it will not be easy, and it most certainly will not be a pleasant situation. You need to do whatever you can to make sure you and your child are prepared for this situation, but don’t expect your child to understand if he or she is too young or doesn’t understand why his or her parent is being accused of horrible things because of drugs or other problems they might not recognize.
Declaring a parent unfit is very difficult, and it’s a process. Your child’s safety should always come first, but you must also know that there are almost always repercussions when one parent accuses the other of not being fit. If you’re ready to go through this to protect your child, call an attorney for assistance.
Do fathers have the same rights as mothers?
The law regarding parents is confusing to many. There are so many misconceptions about who has more rights, that moms have the most rights, and that dads are second nature in the world of parenting. It’s not true. Mothers and fathers have rights when it comes to their kids, and they’re more alike than you might imagine. While it’s historically more common for kids to live with their mothers following a divorce or separation, it’s not because their fathers love them less than their mothers.
Traditionally, dads work outside the home and the mother stays home with the baby. The mother is more closely bonded with the baby from spending more time with the baby, breastfeeding, and carrying the child. However, this is not always the case, and there is no reason a father cannot have the same rights as the mother of a child if he simply asks. These laws differ from state to state, however, so there is no right or wrong answer.
If a mother is unmarried when her child is born, she is automatically given the natural right to custody of the child after carrying the baby unless she asks otherwise. Her rights in this situation trump the rights of the child’s father even if they live together and are involved in a relationship when the child is born. If they are unmarried, she is given automatic custody and parental rights even if the father is present and there daily.
If this relationship ends and the father wants to get custody of the child, he can do so. He can file for custody to share, but he must prove the mother is an unfit parent if he wants primary custody of the child and she doesn’t agree with it. If the mother walked out of the lives of these children, it’s easier for the father because he can prove she abandoned the family.
Even if the father and mother are unmarried, he is given equal parenting rights in almost every state in America if the mother put his name on the child’s birth certificate. If she doesn’t, the father doesn’t have any rights if there is no marriage. If he wants the same rights as the mother, he must get his name on that birth certificate or he must be married to his baby’s mother. He can also fight for rights to custody of his child when he takes the mother to court.
Finding rights as a parent is not difficult, but they do change a little from state to state. If you are unsure what rights you have, contact an attorney to discuss your legal rights as a father. There are many things you can do to help yourself get what you need and what you want, but you should be sure you have the facts. Fathers are just as important as mothers despite the many misconceptions surrounding parenting in the United States.
Can a mother keep the child away from the father?
In a divorce, child custody and visitation are often the most contested aspects. Parents, often mothers, are often tempted to keep their children away from the father. This may be an unconscious decision made because they subconsciously want to punish the father for what they think he did wrong. Other times, it’s out of legitimate concern for the child’s safety due to abuse or neglect during the marriage. But can the mother keep the child away from the father?
Visitation and custody are decided by the court
When a divorcing couple is able to come to an agreement on their own, the court will simply incorporate that agreement into the final judgment. When the couple cannot agree, however, the court will make a decision on visitation and custody.
If the mother has legitimate concerns about her children’s safety, she should work with her lawyer to find and present appropriate evidence that shows the court why the father should not be allowed to see the children.
What about before an order is issued?
Even if there is no order that requires the mother to let the father see the child, it is always a good idea to be as compliant as possible. When judges make decisions regarding custody and visitation, these decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. A parent withholding the child from the other parent is seen as interfering in the parent-child relationship, which is not in the child’s best interests. This means it can hurt your chances of getting or keeping custody.
What if abuse or neglect is a factor?
If a mother has concerns about her child’s safety when the child is with the father, she should seek the immediate counsel of a family law lawyer. There are procedures that can be followed, including getting a temporary restraining order, to ensure the child’s safety while also ensuring that the mother can’t be punished for keeping the child from the father.
In general, when abuse or neglect are not a concern, mothers cannot keep a child from their father without facing the potential for some serious consequences in court. Whatever the reasons for wanting to keep a child from the father, mothers should meet with a lawyer to discuss options and ensure that they not only put their child’s best interests first, but also don’t jeopardize custody.