Divorce and Family Law Practice Areas

Syracuse Child Custody Lawyer Protects Your Child’s Best Interests

Compassionately guiding families through the legal system for more than 20 years

Family law cases are often intensely emotional and stressful for both you and your child. The most important thing to do when going through a divorce or separation is to maintain a sense of stability and normalcy for your child. Attorney Jeffrey DeRoberts of the DeRoberts Law Firm understands the challenges you’re facing and works hard to do what is best for your family. With two decades of experience creating, modifying and enforcing child custody arrangements, our team helps you establish a practical plan that suits your family’s particular needs.

What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?

The court’s primary concern when creating custody arrangements is to do what is in the best interest of the child. Under New York law, each party has an equal right to parent and be involved in the child’s life and neither parent may infringe on the other’s right to custody and visitation. There are two types of custody orders that courts establish. They are

Legal custody – Legal custody refers to the right to make major life decisions for the child. If one parent is awarded sole legal custody, the other parent does not have the ability to make important decisions regarding the child. Parents may share in the decision-making if the court awards joint legal custody.

– Physical custody – Physical custody determines where the child lives. This can also be sole or joint. If one parent has sole physical custody, the child lives with that parent but still may visit and spend time at the other parent’s home. Shared physical custody allows the child to live at each parent’s home.

A determination of legal and physical custody depends upon several factors

There are several factors that the court considers in determining what type of custody is appropriate for your family. These factors include:

– Which parent has been the primary caretaker

– The mental and physical health of the parents

– Whether there is a history of domestic violence

– The child’s relationship with other members of the household

– The child’s own preference if the child is of a sufficient age and maturity

The most important factor when deciding if joint legal or physical custody is feasible is each parent’s willingness to cooperate, communicate and co-parent. For a joint custody arrangement to work each parent must be invested in doing what is best for the child while minimizing conflicts and disagreements.

Contact a respected central New York family law firm for all your custody questions and concerns

Attorney Jeffrey DeRoberts and the team at the DeRoberts Law Firm take the time to understand your specific situation and provide the support and resources you need to help your family successfully transition to a new way of life. We offer flexible office hours at our Syracuse office. Call 315-479-6445 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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