New York City Child Custody Attorney
Family Lawyer in New York City for Child Custody Matters
The most difficult part of a divorce where children are involved is the separation of the children from each parent. It breaks our hearts as parents, and causes immeasurable anguish and fear for most children. At H. Benjamin Perez & Associates, P.C., we understand how hard it is to part with your daily routine of living with your children. Our NYC child custody attorneys strive to keep you connected with your children throughout the divorce process and after the final decree has been signed by a judge.
Establishing a Fair Custody Arrangement
Getting a fair child custody arrangement can be extremely difficult if one of the parties is not represented by counsel. The court will attempt to do what is in the best interest of the children, but without a qualified and experienced family law attorney fighting for your rights as a parents, situations arise which are almost impossible for the layperson to overcome.
Accusations of irresponsible behavior, drug use, alcohol abuse, or other illegal behavior are often leveled at one parent in an effort to discredit them and keep them away from their most cherished relationships, those of their children. Without legal representation, parents can be steamrolled by opposing counsel and end up losing most if not all of their rights as a custodial parent.
H. Benjamin Perez & Associates, P.C. is the right choice for you, here are some reasons why:
- Attorney Perez has a 10.0 "Superb" Avvo Rating
- We've received the Avvo® Client's Choice Award
- Our clients come first
When partnered with our firm, you can rest assured that we are fighting for you. Our main priority is helping our clients and our Avvo ratings and awards are proof of the quality legal representation that we provide to clients.
Going through a child custody battle? Contact us at (646) 770-0989 for help today!
How is Custody Determined in New York City?
Generally, the court will come up with some sort of visitation custody arrangement where both parents are involved in the children's lives.
There are certain situations in which the child is in danger while in the care of one parent, such as:
- Is an alcohol or drug addict
- Suffers from mental illness
- Has a history of committing acts of domestic violence or abuse
Even then, the court may order chaperoned visitation. Other times, one parent may receive sole custody and the other 'unfit' parent will not.
The guiding principle in child custody court decisions will be based upon what is deemed to be in "the best interests of the child." Your own concerns about the safety of health of your children are far less important if not supported by substantial evidence and testimony. If you believe that your children are in any way endangered while in the care of the other parent, it is imperative that there is compelling evidence presented to the court that fully supports this claim.
Child Custody Forms in New York
The court will follow a specific formula if you have not been successful in working out these details with the other parent. As the best interests of the child are of greatest concern, you can expect the court to question you heavily if your parenting plan does not appear to reflect this approach. Our firm is highly skilled in all custody matters, and is prepared to assist you immediately. If you have questions or concerns about this process, contact us and we can advise you how to proceed with pursuing your objectives regarding the custody of your child.
There are several types of custody arrangements that are common under state law such as:
- Joint Physical Custody - The child has two homes and spends time at each residence
- Joint Legal Custody - Parents have shared custody and share decision making for certain aspects of the child's life
- Legal Custody - One or both parents have the legal ability to make decisions (medical, religious, schooling, etc.)
- Sole Custody - This is sought after in situations where it is unsafe for the other parent to be around the child
Child Custody FAQ
What are the two main parts of child custody cases?
When the court awards child custody there is a legal custody and physical custody that they are referring to. Legal custody is in reference to which parent or parents are able to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. Physical custody refers to who the child will reside and live with.
How is joint custody different from sole custody?
When a couple is awarded joint child custody it means that they must make major decisions regarding the child together. All minor daily decisions can be made by the parent who has physically custody of them on that day. However, with sole custody only one parent has the right to make those major legal decisions for the child.
Are the NY courts still able to show preference to the mother or the father when awarding custody?
No. Today family law courts are supposed to remain impartial because each parent, despite their gender roles, has an equal right to seek custody and visitation. Rather, the court is supposed to rule in favor of the custody arrangement that is in the child's best interests.
What do NY courts look at when deciding on a child custody arrangement?
If parents cannot agree on their own child custody arrangement, then it is up to the court to decide what is best. When making this decision they will look at a wide variety of factors including:
- Who the primary caregiver is
- Each person's parenting skills, strengths and weaknesses
- How healthy each parent is both physically and mentally
- If there is any history of domestic violence
- What the work schedule is for each parent
- The relationship that the children have with each parent, their siblings and extended family
- If the child is of age they will consider the child's preference
- Whether or not the parents are able to cooperate with each other and encourage a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent
How is child custody resolved through mediation?
By going through mediation, some couples are able to compromise and reach an agreement regarding child custody without having to go to court. Mediation takes place in a private and confidential setting and it is undergone voluntarily by both parties. During mediation a neutral third party can help the two parties communicate compromise and bring their dispute to a resolution.
What happens to the parent who is not awarded sole custody?
In cases where one parent is awarded sole custody, the court will typically offer visitation time between the other parent and the children. They do this so that the children can continue to have a relationship with both parents.
Can relatives besides the parents seek legal custody of the children?
In order for aunts, uncles or grandparents to be awarded custody of the kids, they must first be able to prove that both parents are unfit to care for them. If the parents have a history of violence, neglect, drug abuse or alcohol dependence, then the court will typically consider awarding legal custody to another relative.
If you have any other questions regarding child custody, please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with our NYC child custody lawyer.
Work with an Award-Winning NYC Child Custody Lawyer
Once a child custody arrangement is actually reached, disgruntled ex-spouses are notorious for using the children as a weapon against their ex-spouse. Without savvy, skilled legal representation, the results can be disastrous for the children as well as the targeted parent. Don't let yourself be run over by another lawyer or your ex-spouse in a court of law.
The court can only do so much for you on your behalf. Many parents expect the courts to protect their child custody interests for them, but this is rarely the case. You must have a competent, highly trained advocate in your corner in order to ensure that your children's best interests are looked after.
Have questions regarding child custody? Contact our firm today to schedule an evaluation of your case.