Getting divorced and dealing with child custody issues can be among the most challenging experiences in a parent’s life. As a parent, your children are the most important people in your life. The outcome of a divorce and child custody case will have a significant impact on your relationship with your children. Custody matters are some of the most emotionally draining experiences, especially in a contested divorce. Having the right attorney on your side is essential.
If you are going through a divorce or child custody battle, you need a family law attorney familiar with New York’s family and custody laws. At CDH Law PLLC, our lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in custody matters throughout the greater Syracuse and CNY area. We will ensure that your rights as a parent are protected throughout the entire process. Contact CDH Law PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation.
Child Custody and Divorce
When parents of minor children divorce, visitation, and custody matters become an important part of the divorce proceedings. Many parents are concerned about their child’s well-being, including what school they will attend, their living situation, their extracurricular activities, and possible medical issues.
Parents of children with special needs are often concerned that divorce will negatively affect their child’s routine and cause them setbacks. Effective child custody lawyers work with their client and the other spouse to create agreement when possible while keeping the child’s best interests in mind. If you are involved in a child custody dispute, it is wise to hire an experienced lawyer to represent your best interests, and those of your child, as soon as possible.
Custody Determinations in New York
In New York, judges try to make the best decisions possible when it comes to child custody cases. In divorce cases, child support, child custody, and visitation often become the most critical and contested aspects of the case. Judges use multiple determining factors to decide which parent will receive custody. New York State judges’ overall goal is to make a decision that will disrupt the child as little as possible. Some of the critical factors judges consider when determining custody matters include the following:
- Each parent’s willingness to work with the other parent
- The child’s relationship with other family members and siblings
- Each parent’s work schedule
- Each parent’s financial ability to provide for their children
- The location at which the child’s sibling or siblings live
- The physical health of each parent
- The mental health of each parent
- Each parent’s parenting skills
- The quality of each parent’s home environment
- Which parent acts as the primary caretaker
When the child involved in the custody matter is old enough, judges will ask the child where he or she would like to reside. Judges will also ask the child about his or her relationship with each parent.
Sole Custody in New York
There are several different types of child custody arrangements in New York State. Courts can rule that one parent has sole custody of the child or children. In a sole custody arrangement, one parent has both physical and legal custody. The parent who has to receive sole custody is legally responsible for the child care and makes all decisions regarding the child.
In a sole custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent often has the right to make basic day-to-day decisions when the child is in his or her physical custody. When parents are unable to make decisions together, or when one parent is a danger to the children’s health and safety, courts will impose a sole custody arrangement.
Joint Custody in New York
Most New York courts and parents prefer a joint custody arrangement in which both parents share responsibility for care and decision-making related to their children. In a joint custody arrangement, both parents decide about the child’s healthcare, religion, schooling, activities, and overall well-being. Courts prefer joint custody arrangements because they encourage parents to work together and parent as a team.
Parents in a joint custody arrangement share physical custody of their children. They will follow a visitation schedule in which the child will live with one parent for a certain period and then switch to live with the other parent. This arrangement is called joint physical custody. In some cases, a judge will grant sole physical custody to one parent who will act as the primary guardian. Still, the other parent may contribute to the decision-making process.
Why You Need an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
Most New York State judges try to be fair when they make child custody decisions. Unfortunately, their decisions are not always correct; it is crucial that parents have effective legal representation. For many parents, the thought of losing custody of their children is terrifying. A skilled child custody lawyer will help you present your case to the judge effectively and persuasively while making sure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Other Related Legal Matters
Divorce cases make up a majority of the child custody issues that need to be resolved in court. However, there are several other types of child custody matters parents can face. The lawyers at CDH Law PLLC have decades of combined experience in handling a variety of custody disputes in New York. We know how to defuse conflicts between parents while helping the parties achieve agreement. Our ultimate goal is to protect you and your child’s best interests. Common custody matters include:
- Modifying a visitation schedule
- Enforcing a visitation agreement when one of the custodial parents is in violation
- Assisting grandparents who seek visitation rights
- Protecting the rights of same-sex parents or nonbiological parents
Contact Our Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
At CDH Law PLLC, we work hard to protect our clients’ rights throughout the divorce and child custody process. If you need a child custody lawyer in Syracuse, please contact us to schedule your initial consultation.