Parenting time, historically known as visitation, is the right of a parent in New York who does not have primary custody of a child to spend time with that minor. The term “parenting time” underscores the requirement of New York law that a parent is entitled to be more than a visitor in the life of his or her child.
If you face an issue pertaining to parenting time, you need to understand your legal rights. You need to appreciate the importance of retaining the services of a Staten Island visitation lawyer to pursue and protect your legal rights and interests in a parenting time case.
The New York Standard for Custody and Parenting Time or Visitation
The state of New York has established what is known as the best interests of the child standard when it comes to the custody and parenting time or visitation. The standard mandates that decisions regarding both custody and visitation must be made with regard to what is in the best interests of a child.
In determining what is the best interests of a child, a court considers a number of factors in a custody and visitation case. These include an examination of which parent historically was the primary caretaker of a child. In addition, the court will consider the overall physical, mental, and emotional health of the parties. The court will consider the living situations of the parents and which parent is most likely to encourage contact with the other parent.
When specifically considering visitation, the court will look at many of the same factors used when determining custody in the first instance. The court will also look at the age of the child and the proximity of the non-custodial parent’s home to the child’s primary residence.
Enforcing Visitation Order
In addition to establishing parenting time in the first instance, a Staten Island visitation lawyer can also assist a client in enforcing an existing visitation order. Enforcement actions come in two general forms.
First, there are enforcement actions that involve a non-custodial parent who faces an interference of his parenting time rights. Second, there are enforcement cases that center on a non-custodial parent who does not follow an existing parenting time order. For example, the non-custodial parent fails to return a child at the conclusion of a scheduled visitation.
A Staten Island visitation attorney can file a motion to enforce visitation when the need arises. A court can take a range of different types of actions, including enforcing the specific terms of a visitation order as well as imposing sanctions on the party that violated an existing parenting time decree.
Retain a Staten Island Visitation Lawyer
Because of the complexity of New York visitation laws, and associated court procedures, you should take a proactive stance in retaining the services of a skilled, experienced Staten Island visitation lawyer. The first step in engaging legal representation in a parenting time or visitation case is scheduling what is known as an initial consultation.
During an initial consultation, a qualified Staten Island visitation lawyer will provide an evaluation of your case and answer your questions regarding parenting time in the state of New York. As a general rule, there is no charge for an initial consultation with a Staten Island visitation lawyer.