Common New York Child Custody Questions Answered by an Experienced Child Custody Attorney
We are here to answer your questions about child custody and disputes
Any parent involved in a child custody dispute is expected to have a lot of questions about the process and implications of taking a child custody case into court. At the DeRoberts Law Firm, our attorney is empathetic to what you are going through as you take the other parent of your child into court. We understand that your children mean the world to you and that every family has different circumstances. When you are with us, we take the time to answer all of your questions and explain the entire process to you so that you always know what is going on with your dispute.
Which parent will get custody of the child?
If an agreement between the parents cannot be reached, then New York has family courts that will make the final decision about what the structure of child custody should be. New York uses the “best interests of the child standard” to make these determinations. This standard gives the judge discretion to use any facts it deems important and relevant in making these decisions.
What is the difference between joint and sole custody?
Joint custody allows both parents to participate in the physical custody and decision making involved in raising the child. Sole custody is rarely awarded in New York, but when granted it gives one parent physical custody of the child and the other parent usually only gets very limited access to the child.
Do the courts favor the mother over the father?
Judges are not supposed to have automatic biases for one sex to have custody over another. However, mothers traditionally spend more time with the children than the fathers, and judges may weigh this factor heavily when balancing the factors that impact child custody decisions.
Can parents refuse visitation if child support is not paid?
New York courts consider child support and visitation to be separate issues. If a custody order is set with a visitation schedule, you should not refuse visitation for refusing to pay child support without a court order allowing you to do so.
When can child custody be decided?
Agreements can be decided voluntarily out of court if both parents are able to reach a common understanding about what is best for the child. Child custody can also be determined in family courts by filing a custody petition, or it can be determined as part of a divorce action. However, prenuptial agreement clauses relating to child custody are not enforceable in New York.
Can I modify a custody order or agreement?
Yes. New York allows changes to custody orders if there has been a substantial change in circumstances warranting an amendment to the order in whole or in part (usually these changes are made so a parent can relocate or because it is now unsafe for the child to be with one of the parents). There are no strict guidelines about what a substantial change is. Modification decisions ultimately come down to whether the change would be in the best interest of the child.
How do New York courts decide on child custody disputes?
New York courts look at the entirety of the circumstances to decide what is in the best interest of your child. There are no hard and fast guidelines about what judges must look at in deciding what is in the best interest of the child. Judges have the discretion to look at any important and relevant facts in making determinations about the best interests of a child.
Under what circumstances will courts prevent visitation rights or order supervised visitation?
The courts are always trying to look out for the safety and well-being of children involved in a custody dispute. On the other hand, the laws of New York favor both parents being involved in the upbringing of children. For a court to order supervised or no visitation, they must be persuaded that harm will likely be done to the child if they are alone with the parent.
Contact a knowledgeable New York child custody lawyer for a free initial consultation
Child custody disputes in New York require a lot of attention to detail and knowledge to achieve successful outcomes. Family law attorney Jeff DeRoberts takes time to discuss the entire child custody dispute process with you and gives you honest answers to all your questions. To schedule a free initial consultation with us, call us at 315-479-6445, or you can contact us online.