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Child visitation is one of the most important areas of law. Helping a parent establish a meaningful relationship with their child is a critically important part of a lawyer’s work. At Spodek Law Group, helping parents establish and build a relationship with their child is both a privilege and an obligation that we take very seriously. There’s nothing more important to you than your children, and we want to partner with you to help you establish the best custody and parenting time schedule for you and your children.
How the courts decide custody and visitation
New York courts make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. That is, they look at the entire situation and determine what’s best for the child. That’s not necessarily what’s best or the most convenient for either parent.
There are a number of factors that the court may consider in order to evaluate what’s best for the child. These factors might include:
- Stability – Each parent needs to have appropriate housing. The court will also look at the presence of third parties in the parent’s home.
- Child care arrangements – You need to have appropriate arrangements for the child while you’re at work. If you need help paying for day care, the court may award you child support to help you pay for care.
- Which parent has been the primary caretaker until this point in the child’s life
- Mental and physical health of each parent
- Domestic abuse – Abuse can impact a custody decision whether or not the children witness it.
- Siblings – The court wants children to know their siblings
- The child’s preference – A child’s preference can’t control the decision, but the court can consider it.
The court doesn’t have to weigh each factor evenly. They don’t check off each factor and total up the score. Instead, they look at the entire situation together in order to make their decision.
Establishing visitation and making changes to your parenting time schedule
As children grow, the best parenting time schedule might change. A parent might move or have a job change that makes it more practical to follow a different visitation schedule. A young child might need frequent contact with both parents, while an older child might prefer fewer changes and longer periods of time with each parent.
If there’s a change of circumstances since the last order, you can ask the court to change the schedule. If you can show the court how things have changed, the court will look at the circumstances of the case in order to determine if it’s best for the children to have the change in schedule. In most cases, the court will order that each parent should have at least some time with the child.
Why work with an attorney
Working with an experienced New York child visitation attorney can help you make your case as strong as possible. The courts base their decisions on evidence. They consider the statements of the parents, but that’s only one of the things they can use to make a decision.
New York courts use a very specific set of rules in order to decide what evidence the judge can consider. An experienced attorney can help you look at the types of evidence that you might be able to gather in your case. They can help you determine how to present the evidence in a way that the court will accept. At every step, your attorney can help you build a strong case and guide you through New York’s complex court system.
New York Child Visitation Modification Lawyers
As a parent, one of the toughest things to do is defend your child in court. Whether you are fighting for more visitation of your child or trying to prevent a negative parental influence from gaining time, it’s hard not to get emotional when your relationship with your son or daughter is at stake. While some people think that saving the money and representing themselves for child visitation is the best idea, often they find themselves at mediation or court having a tough time keeping calm and sticking to the facts. That’s why it’s important to have a child visitation modification lawyer with you whenever you want to update the terms of your child visitation.
Here’s how a New York child visitation modification lawyer can help you with your case:
1. Defining your reasons for extending or preventing more visitation
A judge won’t accept “because I think believe this is what’s best” as a legal foundation for your case. To increase the likelihood of getting the results you want from child visitation modification, you need a skilled attorney to assist you in building your case. Your best bet is to set up a consult with a child visitation modification lawyer, and let the attorney guide the conversation. Be honest with your answers and what you hope to get out of the child visitation modification. If you have a negative history that may come up during your case, be sure to disclose this information, too.
2. Taking care of the paperwork
If you’ve taken a look at doing child visitation modification on your own, you know that the forms, deadlines and rules are quite complicated. You’re fighting for your child; you shouldn’t need to stress over the details. By hiring a lawyer to help you with your case, you’ll be able to focus on preparing yourself for a positive outcome of your child visitation modification.
3. Learning more about your options
If you’ve had a child visitation case before and the results have not gone your way, consulting with a child visitation modification lawyer can help you understand your rights and see what other options may be available to you. For example, you may be able to appeal a previous court decision, or you may be able to adjust a current visitation agreement to one that works better for you and your child. With an attorney to guide you through the process, you’ll be more likely to get a desirable outcome from your case.
The bottom line is you and your child(ren) deserve the best shot at a great relationship. Your attorney can help you with child visitation modification to ensure that your child(ren) have a legally protected relationship with you. Instead of worrying about if or when you’ll next see your child(ren), it’s important to get these issues into a legally binding agreement. Should you feel that your child(ren) are unsafe with the other parent, you will have legal standing to base your future case on. If you feel that you’ve unfairly been denied time with your child(ren), a modification to your visitation agreement can make your time with your child(ren) legally enforceable. Don’t allow guilt or fear to prevent you from getting the legal protection you need when it comes to your child(ren). Your child(ren) will benefit from the positive steps you take to provide them with positive influences and protection. And you’ll benefit from having a child visitation modification lawyer help you get the best results and the best chance at a better life for your child(ren).