Having a child is one of the happiest days of your life. Seeing that little one grow is part of the joys of parenthood. While the relationship with you and your youngster will last forever, the association with the mother or father may not. Splitting from a partner is difficult when your life is forever entwined with a kid. Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a heated custody battle with the deciding factor based on the “best interest of the child.” During these challenging times, you need an experienced law firm standing beside you.
Help in Times of Need
In New York, the Family Law Court decides who gets custody of your child. They use the philosophy that a kid is best influenced by having both parents in their life. When determining custody issues, they see who is best suited as the custodial parent. In many instances, the court will give shared custody to both parents. Custody can also be ordered on an alternating basis. No matter what the ruling, child custody issues are one of the most sensitive areas of the law. You need a compassionate legal team that knows how to handle distraught parents as well as help resolve these complicated matters.
Understanding the Best Interest of the Child
The best interest of the child takes precedence when deciding visitation and custodial parenting arrangements. For instance, if one parent has a stable job, home and can meet the needs of the youngster better than the other parent, then they will be given primary or sole custody. They are responsible for the bulk of the parenting accountability as they will share the most significant amount of time with the kid.
The best interest means merely that the child is better in one situation rather than the other. They look at things like financial wellbeing, safety issues, stability, school system, home life, and other factors. The court may send a Guardian Ad Litem to do some investigative work. They will come to the home of both parents and evaluate each situation. Based on their report, the court is better able to decide what that they feel is in the “best interest.”
The Visitation Orders
When shared custody is awarded, both parents equally share responsibilities for their kid. When the court determines that one parent is more stable than the other and is granted primary custody, then the other parent will receive visitation rights. A visitation order will outline a schedule for both parents to observe. If the court feels the child may have safety issues when they are with one parent, then they will issue an order for court-supervised visitation.
The court encourages parents to work together to come up with a visitation schedule that is beneficial to all. It is essential to use some flexibility because things can and will happen from time to time. The court will approve the visitation orders, and it becomes an official order. Anyone that does not follow this agreement is in contempt. Contempt charges can be filed if one parent violates the deal. A consistent issue with violations can equal jail time.
In our law firm, we see many different scenarios when it comes to visitation. First, we see a lot of issues with the custodial parent denying the other parent visitation. Children are often used as a pawn in a game to pit one parent against the other. The court heavily frowns on such behavior. Children should always be kept out of adult situations. When visitation is denied, and there are no court orders to back such actions, then we must file a contempt of court charge against that person.
If a parent has concerns for the health and safety of a child, they must bring those issues to the court to decide. They cannot take matters into their own hands and alter the visitation schedule. Additionally, if modifications need to be made to the plan because of a conflict or a change in the custodial parent, then this must also be brought to the court. While parents have control over the child, the matter of visitation and custody lies within the court. Modifications can be made to these orders with ease, in most cases. However, if one parent is trying to take custody away from the other, they must have substantial documentation, or the other party must agree.
You Need An Experienced Lawyer
Child custody issues are difficult because they involve matters of the heart. Having an experienced legal team helping will make things easier. We can ensure that the court hears your side of the story and that the court does its job by doing what is in the best interest of your child.
Through the remedy of court-ordered visitation, non-custodial parent, grandparents and even others can enjoy important contact and relationship with children. The extent of the right depends upon a number of factors that include your relationship to the children and circumstances that shape whether visitation is suitable. With the assistance of one of our NYC child visitation lawyers, you can text jobs to stay in your children’s lives even if you don’t have custody of them.
Who May Request Visitation?
New York law does not limit visitation rights to just the natural parents. Under Section 72 of the Domestic Relations Law, grandparents can request visitation rights if a parent has died or if there are circumstances which would make it equitable for the grandparents to have visitation rights. However, granting visitation rights to a grandparent or someone else who is not the natural parent may interfere with the parents’ general right to determine who visits the children or otherwise make decisions regarding the children. Courts will give considerable weight to the parents preferences on visitation.
If you are a grandparent, brother or sister or other family member, speak with one of our NYC visitation lawyers to determine and pursue your rights to visitation. Often, the Family Court will entertain visitation along with determining custody. You may also opt to request visitation in a preceding separate from the custody one.
In the visitation hearing, you will need to prove generally that visitation is in the best interest of the child. If you are a parent, the court generally, but not always, will grant reasonably generous visitation rights. This is because the court encourages parents to have involvement in their children’s lives.
What Are the Factors in Awarding Visitation
Although we’ll speak more of the arrangements for visitation below, suffice it to say that the environment for the visitation will prove important in matters such as whether visitation will be supervised. Our NYC child visitation lawyers will help you gather information about the surroundings in which the visitation will take place. Some of these factors include the presence of alcohol, drugs, weapons and other unsafe conditions in the applicant’s home; and whether there are concerns for one parent or someone seeking visitation to take the child. A history of criminal or irresponsible behavior might call for supervised visits in a public location or, if the misconduct is serious, denial of visitation altogether.
For supervised visits, a judge may order a mental health professional or some neutral observer to be present. In the former type of supervision, the professional offers parenting skills to the parent to help with interactions. Having someone to oversee the visitation can help avoid disputes or credible accusations of acting disorderly or otherwise improperly toward the children.
What are the Terms of a Visitation Order?
In crafting a visitation order, the Family Court judge will address scheduling visits around the birthdays of the parents and children, holidays and weekends. The parties can mediate many of these details and avoid disputes. In some cases, the parties may even agree to visitation for extended vacation times.
A mediation or even a visitation hearing is a good time to address any concerns you may have about the environment in which your child will visit. Aside from supervision, you might persuade the other party or a court to restrict overnight guests who are not related or married to the person having visitation. For either safety or convenience, you can designate a specific drop off location.
How to Get and Enforce Visitation Rights
Our NYC child visitation attorneys will guide you in the process of seeking visitation. If you are a parent, you will seek it usually as an alternative if you are not awarded full or physical custody. If you are not a parent, you will need to either file a petition or intervene, that is make yourself a party, to the underlying custody lawsuit.
As a result of the mediation or hearing, the Family Court judge will enter a visitation order. Having an NYC child visitation lawyer can prove valuable if the opposing party attempts to interfere with your exercise of visitation under a court order. To respond to denial of visitation, a court can hold the offending party in contempt of court. This can lead to jail time for the offender.
Our legal services also include counseling and pursuing on your behalf on changes to the visitation and even custody order. Courts can modify the arrangement based upon substantial changes in circumstances. Sample situations may include the move of a parent (especially for long distance), the age of the child and progress in parenting education and other counseling that reduces or eliminates the need for supervision. the conviction of the visiting parent, especially for serious crime impact that parents freedom and access to the child.