Divorce and Family Law Practice Areas

Syracuse Child Visitation Attorney Protects Your Family’s Best Interests

Following a divorce or separation, one of the most important considerations is how your children may be affected by the change in family structure. Many decisions must be made about things like custody, support and visitation. The primary concern when establishing any type of custody or visitation schedule is always to do what is in the best interests of the child. The court considers several factors when determining what would be best for the child. These factors include the parenting skills of each parent including their strengths and weaknesses, the mental and physical health of the parents, each parent’s respective work schedule, each parent’s willingness to cooperate with each other and co-parent the child and the child’s wishes if he or she has reached a sufficient age and maturity.

A custody determination establishes who the custodial parent is. In New York, the court system favors fostering each parent’s relationship with the child. If one parent is awarded sole custody, the non-custodial parent is usually entitled to visitation rights. Visitation is almost always available unless the court determines that such visitation would be detrimental to the child. These types of cases typically involve a history of child abuse, neglect and/or domestic violence.

New York state law provides for a variety of types of visitation that can be tailored depending upon your specific circumstances and the best interests of the child. In cases where there has been a history of domestic violence or neglect, the court may order that visitation be supervised. The court will require a specified third party to be present during all visits and the non-custodial parent is strictly prohibited from being alone with the child. Therapeutic supervised visits require the presence of a mental health professional during all visits. The goal of these visits is to improve the parenting skills of the non-custodial parent.

The court may also implement guidelines regarding how parents exchange the child before and after visits. A neutral place of exchange such as a school, library or mall is a safe and public location where the child transitions from one parent to the other. A third party may be required to be present during the exchange if the court orders monitored transitions.

Establishing a practical and mutually beneficial visitation schedule is integral to ensuring that your child adjusts to a new way of life successfully. The DeRoberts Law Firm has been helping clients in Syracuse and throughout New York establish practical child visitation schedule for your family.

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