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New York Custody Lawyer

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Welcome to the Spodek Law Group - a premier, and top rated, divorce law firm.





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" Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

" Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

" Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
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New York Custody Lawyer

If you face a divorce, paternity, or post-divorce matter that involves custody issues, including those centering on joint custody, you need to have a basic familiarity with New York law. A New York joint custody lawyer can provide you not only the information you desire, but the representation you need to best protect your legal rights and interests.

Joint Custody Defined

Joint custody represents a custodial arrangement in which both parents share in the upbringing of a minor child. Joint custody in New York is generally contrasted with sole custody. Under a sole custody arrangement, only one parent plays a primary role in the upbringing of a minor child.

Joint Custody is Never Presumed

A New York judge doesn’t start any case on the presumption that joint custody is the best option for a child. If you are making a request for joint custody in family court, then you’ll be obligated to show the judge why it’s in the best interests of the child to have shared custody between both parents.

The New York case of Trolf v. Trolf speaks of some situations where joint custody might make the best sense. A court can award joint custody in families where the parents can get along reasonably well. Trolf showed us that in situations where the parents can be polite to one another and cooperate for the sake of the children, joint custody can be awarded.

Even hurt feelings in a marriage shouldn’t stop a qualified parent from having joint custody. It doesn’t make a difference if the parents get along with each other or not. What makes the difference is if they can reasonably cooperate for the good of the children.

Joint Legal Custody

According to New York law, legal custody is the ability of a parent to make primary life decisions for a minor child. These decisions include such matters as religion, education, and medical matters. Joint legal custody exists when both parents share in making primary life decisions for a minor child.

Joint Physical Custody

Pursuant to New York law, physical custody is the right of a parent to provided a residence for a minor child. Joint legal custody is a situation in which both parents provide a residence for a minor child a substantial amount of time.

Division of Custody

New York law permits custodial arrangements to be divided in a number of different ways. For example, one parent might have sole physical custody of a child and yet share legal custody with another parent. In another scenario, both parents may jointly have legal and physical custody of a child. A situation could even exit when one parent has both legal and physical custody of a child and the other parent has neither.

Who Has the Legal Right to Petition for Custody of a Child in New York?

The mother and legal father of a child both have the legal right to petition for custody of their child or children.  The “legal father” is a man who:

  1. has signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity, 
  2. has received an Order of Filiation from the court, or 
  3. is listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate.  

Any of these documents is sufficient to demonstrate paternity.  In plain English, they are proof that a man is the legal father of his child. 

For children born in the confines of marriage, there is a legal presumption that the husband of the child’s birth mother is the child’s real father.  

In circumstances where a child was conceived by artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization with the spouse’s written agreement, that paternity presumption is also applied. 

As a result of a case decided in 2016, in some scenarios, the domestic partner of the child’s birth or adoptive parent is capable of establishing parenting rights.  This applies even if the partner was not married to the person listed as a parent on the child’s birth certificate or never legally adopted the child. 

Whatever the family circumstances, neither of the parents has more of a right to custody than the other.  If there is no custody order in existence, then either parent can keep the child.

Family friends and relatives of a child also have a right to petition the court for custody of a child.  To accomplish this, they would have to demonstrate that there are “extraordinary circumstances” that would give them a plausible reason to request custody in preference to either of the natural parents. So called “extraordinary circumstances” can include circumstances such as surrender by the parent, abandonment, persistent neglect, unfitness, or disruption of custody over an extended timeframe. If they are capable of demonstrating extraordinary circumstances, then they would also need to demonstrate that it is in the best interest of the child for the non-parent to be granted custody.

Establishing a Joint Custody Agreement

Parties to a divorce, or paternity, case have the ability to negotiate a custody agreement. In fact, courts usually encourage parents to attempt to negotiate an agreement between themselves when it comes to issues like custody of a minor child.

Even when parties negotiate a custody arrangement, that agreement must still be approved by the court. The court must make sure that the custody agreement meets the legal standard for such legal and physical custody in the state of New York.

The Legal Standard for Custody

New York law outlines the standard to be utilized in establishing the custody of a minor child. It covers both legal and physical custody. It applies to a situation in which joint custody is being considered.

In New York, a custody arrangement must be determined to be in the best interests of the child. In determining whether the arrangement is in the best interests of a child, a court will look at a variety of different factors.

Considerations include the health of the parties, the residential situation of the parties, and a look at which parent historically has been the primary caretaker of the child. Other factors can also come into play depending on the unique situations of a case.

Retain a New York Joint Custody Lawyer

Your first step in obtaining legal representation is arranging an initial consultation with an experienced New York joint custody lawyer. During this preliminary meeting with a lawyer, you obtain an evaluation of your situation and answers to any questions that you might have about joint custody and other issues. There typically is no fee charged for an initial consultation with a New York joint custody lawyer.

Could it jeopardize custody if I date someone after the divorce

A divorce is a chance to start all over again. Many people embrace this opportunity. They know that doing so can open doors and let them get the life they’ve always wanted. One often exciting thing about getting a divorce is being able to think about dating and forming personal relationships again. Finding someone new to be with is a great chance to get past unpleasant memories and move confidently into the future. At the same time, doing so can be highly complicated in the aftermath of a prior relationship. This is particularly true for those who have been through a divorce and have kids. Both parties may feel the need to find a new partner who is more supportive of their goals. Both parties should be careful when moving on to a new relationship after a divorce. This is especially important for the partner who has primary custody of the children.

A Cautious Approach

Keep in mind that the court system cannot mandate behavior between two grownups involved in a custody agreement unless under certain circumstances. Court officials cannot necessarily vet every single person’s dating choices even if the other partner does not like them. A court may step in if the new partner has a criminal record of some kind, especially if that record is related to abuse of children in any way. In that case, the person should be highly cautious about dating that person as doing so can have serious repercussions that may endanger their ability to keep primary child custody. If the person’s criminal record is known about in advance before the person begin dating them, this can be potential grounds to revoke the person’s custodial arrangements. If it is not known about in advance but is later discovered, this can also have serious legal consequences. The courts may look closely at the custodial parent and what kind of relationships they have chosen to form in the aftermath of the divorce. They may decide one parent is no longer fit to be the primary parent unless they agree to end the relationship or make sure the person they are dating is not around the children.

Go Slowly

If there are no potential criminal issues for the spouse to deal with, it’s also best to go slowly. It’s best to keep any new relationship at bay for at least a few months. Doing so has many advantages for both the custodial parent and for all of their children. A separation and divorce are hard on children. Children may feel a tremendous sense of loss in the aftermath. A child may feel they are the reason their parents are no longer together and may become frustrated or depressed. A parent who takes up with another person immediately can create further chaos and feelings of anxiety and anger for children. Children may resent having another person around that is not related to them. In that case, the child may even decide to take action and speak up. They may tell the other parent they do not want to be around the new person in their primary custodial parent’s life. A court may take this into consideration going forward. The non-custodial parent can head back into court and ask that the child’s wishes be heard when it comes to matters of custody going forward. It’s entirely possible that the judge may decide that the child’s wishes should be honored. In that case, the child may want to stay with the other parent. A court can take custody from one parent and give it to another instead.

Financial Issues

The decision to bring in another member of the household may also have other reverberations. After a divorce, the judge may mandate certain financial arrangements. In many cases, they will mandate a certain level of funding for the primary custodial parent. This is because that parent is taking on the role of providing things such as food and a roof over the child’s head as well as help with getting to school and after school care arrangements. Bringing a new person into the relationship can have fiscal consequences. The new person may help with specifics such as food and the mortgage. The other parent may find out about this and ask the court to reduce the amount of child support they pay because someone else is helping out. This is why experts recommend keeping highly detailed personal fiscal records if any custody arrangements are challenged


Based on 362 reviews.
Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

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Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

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