For fathers, one of the most troubling aspects of a divorce can be the thought of losing access, custody and daily interaction with their children. For many years in the United States and in New York State, it seemed that mothers receiving sole custody of the children of the marriage was almost a pre-ordained outcome in a divorce. Fathers were left with a child support bill but very little time and space to care for, raise and enjoy their children.
However, fathers do have rights. Divorcing does not need to mean that a father loses his rights and access to his children. Indeed, across the country, shared custody is being increasingly recognized as the preferred form of custody to protect the interests of children and support the involvement of both parents in a child’s life. More than that, when a father pursues custody and claims their rights, the likelihood of a favorable outcome is greatly improved.
Father’s rights attorneys in Staten Island can help you to understand the rights that you have as a father and the steps that you can take to protect your rights and those of your children.
Family law decisions and family courts have a standard requirement to prioritize the best interests of the child. In situations absent abuse or unfit parents, research has underlined the value of shared custody for a child’s growth and development. The involvement of a father in a child’s life is important for their physical and psychological health.
In New York, fathers have a series of rights and obligations to their child. A staten island father’s rights attorney can help you to enforce these rights. This group of rights and obligations include the following:
- Parenting and disciplining the child
- Accessing the child’s medical records
- Visitation and access to the child
- Deciding and participating in decisions about the child’s life
- Financially supporting the child
- Pursuing and maintaining a relationship with your child
Courts are increasingly moving away from a reflexive model of awarding custody to the mother of the child. Joint and shared custody is increasingly becoming a standard. More than that, sole or primary custody for the father of a child is also a fully achievable goal that is frequently looked upon favorably by courts when the father demonstrates that he is in fact the better choice to offer care and primary guidance for the child or children.
A family law attorney is critical when seeking to uphold your rights and those of your children in a child custody case. When you consult with one of our staten island father’s rights lawyers, we can advise you on your situation and work with you to take legal steps to protect the rights of you and your children.
The issue of child support upon separation is also related to that of child custody. When fathers do not achieve custody orders that recognize their active place in their children’s lives, this can also be reflected in child support orders, because noncustodial parents bear the burden of financial child support.
Working with a staten island father’s rights lawyer can help you to support the best interests of your child without being subject to an unfair or unjust child support order. Our lawyers can help you to advocate for the best system of financial support for the needs of your children.
Generally, in New York, child support is based on a standard formula, although the actual order is variable from case to case. The general guidelines are as follows:
- For one child, 17 percent of total parental income
- For two children, 25 percent of total parental income
- For three children, 29 percent of total parental income
- For four children, 31 percent of total parental income
- For five or more children, 35 percent of total parental income
Our staten island child support lawyers can advise you about how best to move forward to protect yourself and your children.
Paternity and Adoption Rights
In divorce cases, most commonly, paternity has been established. However, in other cases, it may be necessary for you to establish yourself as the legal father of a child in order to access your rights.
By properly establishing paternity, you can access the court system to seek custody or visitation and have your say if a child is put up for adoption. A mother does not have the sole right to decide whether a child can be placed up for adoption; instead, a father has legal remedies to protect his rights, especially if he has maintained a constant relationship with the child or is interested in seeking custody himself.
staten island father’s rights lawyers can help you to establish paternity and protect your rights in court, including your rights to fair custody, child support modifications and other key issues. Contact our office today to set up a consultation and find out how we can help you to protect your interests and those of your children.
Our team of Staten Island father’s rights attorneys believe that children should have a strong relationship with both of their parents. However, the State of New York has no presumption of joint custody. That’s why it’s important to work with a trained and experienced Staten Island father’s rights lawyer in order to bring your case to the court for equal or primary custody and parenting time.
Helping fathers in New York custody cases
Advocating for deserving fathers poses some unique challenges. Because there’s no presumption that the court should place a child equally with both parents, the court looks at the entire case to determine what’s best for the child. That means, you need to thoroughly show the court how and why you’re critically important in your children’s lives.
Fighting for a father’s rights can often seem like you’re on the defensive. You may need to defend against allegations of domestic violence. You may even need to show that your work schedule doesn’t prevent you from providing care for the child. It might be that you need to show the court that you’ve been actively involved in the child’s life until now, or that you haven’t been able to participate in your child’s life because of the other parent’s attempts to stop you from having access to the child that you love.
How we can help
Whatever the case might be, our team of Staten Island father’s rights lawyers are ready to help. We can help explain New York custody laws and how they might apply to your case. The court bases their decisions on the best interests of the child. When they determine the child’s best interests, they look at the parenting skills of both parents. They look at whether the parents can cooperate to raise the child together.
We’re familiar with how the court decides these cases, and we’re ready to help you prepare your case. You may need to testify about your involvement with your child. We may need to call teachers, day care providers and family friends to testify about your close relationship with your child. We can prepare legal arguments that show the court how New York law applies to the case in your favor.
Enforcing a custody order
If you find yourself in a situation where your co-parent is preventing you from spending time with your child under a court order, you may need to go to court in order to enforce the custody order. Once a custody order is in place, both parties have to follow it. The child’s co-parent can’t deny your court-ordered parenting time. It isn’t up to them.
Our team can help you prepare a motion to enforce the custody order. You can ask the court for makeup parenting time. If the child’s other parent tries to frustrate your attempts to exercise your parenting time enough, the court may even consider a permanent change in custody.
Why work with us
Fathers often feel railroaded by New York’s family court system. It’s important to have a team of staten island attorneys on your side. Your attorneys can make sure that you take the proper steps to demand your parenting rights in order to preserve a strong relationship with your child. We’re eager to help you gather evidence and present your case. If you have a family law case, please call us today.