Skip links

New York City Child Custody Attorneys


(212) 203-8060

Contact Us

    Child Custody Attorneys In New York City

    Determining which parent a child should live with and what is best for them becomes infinitely more complicated when children are involved in divorce proceedings. More often than not, both parents only want what is best for their child’s future. Although it might be easy to decide who gets certain material possessions, trying to figure out custody arrangements is much harder.

    When your children’s futures are on the line, you must be certain that you are pushing yourself further than ever before to get the best possible outcome. By working with experienced New York City child custody attorneys, you can feel confident knowing that the best interests of you and your children are top of mind. Contact the Law Firm of Benjamin D. Moore, P.C. today to learn more about how we can help you and your family during such difficult times.

    How Child Custody in New York Is Determined

    Most New York State judges seek to be just in child custody cases. The major disputes that are fought between the parties are usually custody, child support, and visitation. In most situations, the key issues at dispute between the parents are custody, child support, and visitation. The objective of imposing as little change and disruption on a kid as possible is to minimize upheaval for the kids. The following are some of the most important elements that the court considers while deciding which parent will receive custodial rights:

    • Who is the primary caretaker
    • Quality of home environment
    • Parenting skills of each parent
    • Mental and physical status of each parent
    • Substance abuse and any history of domestic violence or other criminal history
    • The general employment situation of each parent
    • Work schedules and availability to the child
    • If a child is old enough, his or her preference.
    • Sibling situation and where they reside as well as the relationship
    • The current living arrangements of each parent
    • Each parent’s ability to provide for their children.
    • Each parent’s work schedule.
    • The child’s relationship with siblings and other family members.
    • Each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the other parent.
    • The history of visitation
    • How the children are performing in school and other developmental issues

    Types Of Child Custody In New York

    Custody may be assigned in numerous ways, depending on the parents’ agreement or court order. To begin with, it must be established whether the parents will have sole or joint legal and physical custody of their kid.

    Sole Custody

    In a sole custody arrangement, the court grants one parent both legal and physical custody of the child. This means that they are responsible for caring for the child as well as making all decisions related to them. The non-custodial parent may only be allowed to make basic day-to-day decisions when they have visitation with the child.

    Joint Custody

    Most parents agree that a joint custody arrangement is the best option as it allows both parties to have a say in all major decisions regarding their child or children. This includes things like healthcare, schooling, religion, and overall well-being. While this setup does minimize competition and loyalty conflicts between parents, it requires that they appreciate and cooperate with one another fully.

    The courts typically support parents who are able to make decisions together about their child. If the parents are unable to communicate amicably and make parenting decisions without disagreements, they may not be granted joint custody. In this case, one parent will be granted legal custody of the child or children but may be required to at least seek input and opinion from the other parent before finalizing the decision.

    Legal Custody

    Sole legal custody may be given to one parent. In such a case, the parent with legal custody of the youngster has the authority to make critical life decisions on behalf of their kid. Both parents are legally responsible for making these choices in conjunction with joint legal custody.

    Physical Custody

    When physical custody is shared between parents, a schedule is negotiated for the parent with whom the child will live during the designated period. This schedule must be followed by both parents to prevent any issues from arising. Joint physical custody allows both parents to equally involved in their child’s life.

    The parent who is granted primary physical custody of the children is typically recognized as the primary guardian. Visitation will be arranged so that the non-custodial parents can spend time with their kids on a regular basis, following a pre-determined schedule.

    Temporary Custody

    In the case of a divorce, unless an agreement has been reached, Temporary custody is the first order issued by a court. This agreement will be maintained throughout the divorce process. The judge will approve permanent custody orders once the divorce is complete (unless, of course, the parties are able to amicably resolve the custody issues by agreement, written and signed.) A temporary child custody arrangement is often made permanent, so both parents should continue being present in their children’s lives during the divorce.

    Visitation Time and Parenting Time

    The visitation terms allow each parent the opportunity to spend time with their child. The visitation time is set aside specifically for when a parent gets to see and bonded with his or her kid. At the Law Firm of Benjamin D. Moore, P.C., our number one goal is to ensure that you have as much parenting time possible with your beloved son or daughter. If you’re a grandparent or non-biological aunt/uncle, etc., you may also be able to gain legal rights permitting spends quality time your grandchildren too.

    If the parents are able to reach an agreement for the visitation schedule that both protects abuse claims and violence, it will be submitted to the court. A detailed timetable may help prevent future conflicts. However if the parents are unable to agree on a visit arrangement, the judge will establish one. Visitation may be restricted in accordance with a stipulation by the court if one of the parents poses an excessive safety risk.

    Resolving Complex Child Custody Issues

    If you are dealing with any of the following issues in your child custody case in NYC, you may need to hire a qualified New York City child cusoty attorney:

    • Allegations of abuse or neglect regarding the child
    • Domestic violence
    • Having a child with special needs
    • Unique economic or residency situations
    • One parent serving in the military
    • One or both parents desiring to relocate or move out of state

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Do I Get Visitation Rights?

    You may be wondering whether your rights will be protected and how the child custody case will turn out in situations where you are a father going through the divorce procedure. You might have concerns about your children’s custody and spousal support payments if you’re given custody by a family court as a mother. To deal with these issues, you’ll need an attorney who is well-versed in child custody law on your side.

    Most divorces go smoothly after both parents have agreed upon a child custody and visitation schedule, but sometimes situations arise that result in a dispute over the visitation schedule. If this happens, it is recommended that you have an NYC child custody attorney present.

    What Qualifies As An Unfit Parent?

    In New York, an unfit parent can be described in a variety of ways. An unfit parent may be someone who abuses drugs or physically abuses their child. They repeat harmful and dangerous actions such as these and others around their kid on a regular basis. Furthermore, if the parent exposes the youngster to hazardous situations, this may indicate unfitness. The following are some examples of bad parenting:

    • Improperly supervising the child
    • Not providing the child with basic needs
    • The child is subject to dangerous conditions or safety hazards
    • The other parent of the kid hangs out with dangerous individuals, such as gang members or convicted felons

    Can A Child Decide Who They Wish To Live With?

    In these contentious cases, the kid has a voice (through the child’s assigned lawyer) but no vote! That being said, it is highly unlikely that a judge would create a visitation plan for a youngster once he or she reaches at least 16 years of age.

    At a minimum, parents’ divorce has two prongs: access (visitation) and decision-making authority. When mothers and fathers separate, their contentious relationship makes it very difficult if not impossible for them to resolve their differences regarding their child’s daily growth and development (health issues; school selections; choice of treating professionals; religion selection; tutoring and training protocols; extra-curricular activities; vacation destinations; introduction to new partners).

    What Age Can A Child Make A Decision To Not See A Parent?

    If a child refuses to visit with one of their parents, it typically results in court intervention. If it is determined that one parent encouraged or insinuated such a reaction from the child, multiple negative scenarios could ensue. If there is no good and probable cause, one or the other parent will face serious consequences. However, if there is proof of domestic violence involving the family, a different set of reactions and interventions will result.

    In either case, expert forensics is generally utilized. It’s a really unpleasant and inconvenient experience, not to mention highly stressful. A kid should never be forced to choose between “favorite” parent or fear expressing love, care, and affection for both parents, or put in a position of fearing abuse if he or she has feelings and desires about both parents.

    Contact Our New York City Child Custody Attorneys Today

    For families in New York City, we provide aggressive, competent, reasonable, and empathetic child custody legal services. Our NYC child custody attorneys are available to assist you in determining your legal choices and guiding you through the procedure whether you’re starting a child custody case for the first time or need to modify an existing order. We are dedicated to protecting what matters most to you and will zealously fight for your interests. We will leave no stone unturned when representing you and make sure that you have the best chance possible of securing custody.