Child Custody

Child Custody Lawyer in East Islip, NY

Couples going through a divorce will have to deal with a tedious and life-changing process. Whether it is an uncontested or contested divorce case, it can be challenging if children are involved. In divorce cases, the child’s best interests are always placed at the forefront. How this concept is applied in divorce proceedings, however, can be pretty challenging to grasp. That’s why our East Islip child custody lawyers are here to provide legal assistance.

If you are filing for a divorce with children involved, consult with an experienced New York child custody attorney knowledgeable with relevant state law and guidelines. Our East Islip divorce and family law attorneys at Donato Law can provide legal advice and help you understand the basics of a dissolution of marriage and child custody issues.

Call us at 631-920-3848 to schedule a consultation with our East Islip child custody lawyer today.

New York Child Custody Laws

The child’s best interests are protected under New York child custody statutes. While some sources claim few rules for determining child custody in New York, best interests have been defined extensively in New York case law. Thus, It may help you decide whether to settle or go to trial.

New York child custody rules presupposed that the mother was the best custodial parent – that was years ago. In New York, today, neither parent has a higher chance of custody; thus, a father may also gain custody. Case-by-case, child custody decisions are thoroughly made.

When giving parenting time or visiting rights, the court is required to consider the child’s best interests. Call Donato Law now at 631-920-3848 to arrange a consultation and learn more about how these factors may affect your case or impact your child custody dispute. A competent and experienced child custody lawyer in East Islip, New York, can gladly help you.

Different Types of Child Custody Cases

Custody and parenting time arrangements are highly emotional legal issues. Certain situations need the use of competent legal counsel. Call us immediately at 631-920-3848 to speak with an East Islip child custody lawyer. We can assist you with divorce modification, divorce enforcement, and prenuptial agreements, among other things.

Child custody and parenting problems may be just as challenging to deal with as spousal support (alimony) and property division (asset division) after filing for divorce or legal separation. Custody is divided into two categories by the courts: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody gives a parent the authority to make crucial legal, medical, educational, and religious choices on behalf of their child. In most circumstances, sharing legal rights to make choices for a child is in the child’s best interests.

Physical Custody

This relates to the child’s residence. This signifies that the child resides with the parent with primary physical custody (or “full custody”). The court may award exclusive physical custody to one parent, although joint physical custody may also be granted.

When it comes to child custody, a parent may be given exclusive physical custody. This implies they have physical custody of the child, with the other parent has either limited or no contact with the child.

Joint Custody

Joint physical and legal custody is generally favored when the child’s divorced parents agree. If the parties cannot agree, the court may be forced to create a parenting plan based on the child’s best interests. Furthermore, if the court denies the parents’ request for joint custody, the judge must explain his or her decision in writing since joint custody is typically favored.

In New York, joint physical custody implies that both parents get significant parenting time with their children. This does not, however, guarantee that they will spend equal time with their child. For example, one parent may spend four nights with the child while the other spends three evenings per week.

Joint Physical Custody

Joint or shared physical custody indicates that the child’s custody is divided 50/50 or reasonably evenly between the parents. A parent is considered to have primary physical custody of a child if he or she spends more than half of his or her time with the child. In the absence of a written agreement, this grants that parent extraordinary decision-making power.

Joint Legal Custody

All significant choices regarding the child, such as medical, educational, or religious concerns, must be discussed and agreed upon by both parents if they have joint legal custody. In contrast, this is not the case in a situation where the court grants exclusive decision-making power to one parent.

New York Child’s Best Interests for Custody Laws

In New York, the child’s best interests come first when deciding who obtains physical custody. In considering whether to give sole custody, the court looks to the child’s best interests.

The best interests of the child are defined under NY custody legislation. Custody guidelines were developed as a result of numerous cases that included extra custody issues. Considerations for the child’s best interests include: 

  • How long has the child lived with either parent
  • The primary residence of the child
  • If the child has particular requirements that only one parent can provide
  • If there is a problem with domestic violence
  • If there are any siblings since courts like to keep siblings together
  • Whether one parent can better manage the child’s intellectual and emotional growth
  • How one parent will treat the other parent
  • Whether there is parental alienation (one parent turning the child against the other)
  • If an older child has a choice on where to reside, a court may consider it.
  • Whether one parent is better
  • Whether either parent uses drugs or alcohol
  • Which parent can better cater to the child’s needs
  • Each parent’s home environment
  • If the child and parent have a deep relationship
  • Whether there is a formal custody order or an informal custody arrangement
  • Work schedules of parents
  • How a parent might foster their child’s religious views and upbringing
  • Absence of domestic partners for both parents
  • Each parent’s emotional and physical wellbeing

Seeking Child Custody in NY

Some New York courts refer to custody arrangements as parenting plans. You may resolve child custody or the whole case, including visitation, child support, and other concerns.

In New York, a court will prioritize a 12-year-old’s requests over an 8-year- old child. Sometimes, if the child has lived with one parent for a long time and is happy, a court will be hesitant to intervene.

A court must also evaluate the “totality of the circumstances.” This implies that a court will consider all of the considerations above and any additional ones to see whether they favor one parent over the other.

Examine the issues outlined above while examining NY child custody laws. If many of them point to the other parent, you should settle rather than go to court.

Visitation Rights in New York

Visitation allows a parent who does not live with their child to see them regularly. The noncustodial parent is generally granted reasonable visitation. Your child’s best interests and schedules may be met when you and the other parent live close by and have a friendly post-divorce or post-separation relationship. You may avoid having the court set a visitation schedule for you by trying to make one.

Visitation may be requested by either parent, siblings, or any other close relatives. If visitation is in the child’s best interests, the court will rule on it. A parent is entitled to frequent and meaningful visitation unless shown that it would harm the child.

Filing for Visitation Rights

In New York, requesting visiting rights is usually done following a divorce, child custody, or paternity lawsuit. A typical New York minimal visitation plan allows a noncustodial parent to see their child for a few hours each week and overnight visits every other weekend. Noncustodial parents are often given more, but never less, than their custodial parents.

Visitation Schedules

Each parent’s summer and holiday visits will be included in a visitation schedule. Furthermore, supervised visits may be ordered if a court is worried about a child’s safety while in the custody of an abusive parent. Visitation may be supervised at an agency or by a mutually agreed-upon third party.

Visitation has its types and limitations, and these are:

Supervised Visits

If the court believes you are a risk to your child or will misbehave around you, you will not be permitted to be alone with your child, and a supervisor will be assigned to you during visitation.

Therapeutic Visits

The court may appoint a mental health expert to monitor and oversee your visits to enhance parenting abilities.

Monitored Transfer

A court may order you to transfer your child to the other parent in a secure area such as a police station, school, library, or mall if it feels the transfer might be emotionally or physically harmful to the child.

Neutral Place of Exchange

The court may order you to transfer your child to the other parent in the presence of a neutral third party if it deems the transfer is emotionally or physically harmful.

Denial of Visitation

In severe instances, when the court considers you are a risk to your child, visitation may be denied.

Call us immediately at 631-920-3848 to speak with an East Islip child custody lawyer.

Talk to an East Islip Child Custody Lawyer Today!

Family courts generally consider whether the father or mother is better equipped to promote continued contact and a healthy connection between the child and the noncustodial parent. A parent who tries to interfere with the other parent’s relationship with the child, on the other hand, may find themselves in court for child custody difficulties.

Contact our New York family law firm at 631-920-3848 for legal help with child custody matters. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you decide which route is best for your child. Our child custody attorney in East Islip, NY, will help you analyze your choices and give legal advice.

If you want to learn more about the divorce process in New York, you can also look at our Divorce Book.

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