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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.
NYC Child Custody Lawyers
Even if you’ve lived in New York City all your life, there are a few child custody laws that you might not know about. These laws are important to keep in mind if you have a child with someone and you end the relationship or you decide to separate during the marriage. These laws also come into play if you file for a divorce. A judge can usually make a ruling about child custody at any family court hearing even before your divorce is finalized. At times, the father might have to take a test to determine paternity if there is a question as to whether the person is the father of the child or not. Keep in mind that child custody usually doesn’t have any bearing on child support or visitation arrangements.
In order for a judge to make a decision about child custody, the child needs to have resided in the state for at least six months. A child younger than six months must have been born in the state before the court hearing. Although many custody hearings end with the mother being granted custody and the father visitation or joint custody between the two parents, this isn’t the case in New York. Each parent has an equal right to custody of the child. This is when it’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney who can gather all of the information that you want to deliver to the court to try to gain custody. When an order hasn’t been established, then the child can stay with either parent until the hearing unless there has been a case established to have the child removed from the home. When you go to the child custody hearing, the judge will take into consideration the child’s best interests before making a final decision.
It is the right of both parents to file for custody of the child. If both parents can provide a suitable home and living environment for the child, then a joint custody arrangement will usually be ordered. If there is a divorce hearing already taking place, then you would need to file for child custody in Supreme Court as you can only have one case open at a time in the state.
The judge will usually look to the primary caregiver of the child when making a decision about custody. While this is usually the mother, especially for infants and toddlers, there are times when the father is the primary caregiver because the mother works more hours or is unable to provide the same kind of living situation that the father can provide. The court will look at the parent who has physical custody of the child when making a final decision about custody. If the child doesn’t seem to be happy living with the parent or the living environment is questionable, then joint custody could be arranged or an alternative so that the other parent can keep the child until a final decision is made.
Older children are often able to voice their opinion of where they want to live and who they want to live with, but the court doesn’t have to base a final decision on these opinions. The judge will try to uphold the wishes of the child while ensuring that the child is safe and is in a home where the child can thrive. If you are unable to communicate with the other parent, then the judge could give custody to one of you and create a visitation arrangement so that the other parent can see the child. However, if you can communicate in a healthy manner with the other parent, then there is usually no reason as to why joint custody wouldn’t be an option.
The judge can open the case in the future if there are changes in the living situation of the child or if there are changes with the parent who has primary custody. Keep in mind that if you want to move to another city or state, then you usually need to approach the court and that the other parent has every right to file a petition to gain custody of the child or to prevent you from moving with the child. Once an order is established and a parent goes against that order by not letting the other parent have the child, then it can be considered kidnapping in the state