Long Island Child Custody Lawyers

Handling Child Custody Issues in New York

child custody & visitation - Long Island child custody attorney

During a divorce, one of the most difficult issues to resolve is child custody. This holds true even when the parents of a child are not married, but are breaking up nonetheless and need to reach a custody arrangement. Parents have strong opinions over how the custody of their children should be divided — or not divided in some cases — and often will not back down until they get what they want. If you are seeking child custody, you need to retain the services of an experienced Long Island child custody attorney who can assert your rights and make sure that your needs and concerns are not overlooked or ignored.

Our well-practiced Long Island child custody attorney can represent you throughout the New York divorce process to make sure that your parental rights are reinforced.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

When parents can agree on a child custody arrangement, the courts will typically uphold their decision as long as it is in the best interest of the child. When parents cannot mutually agree on an arrangement, the courts will intervene and come up with an arrangement based on the child's best interest. There are certain factors judges take into consideration when determining child custody. Some of these factors include:

Long Island Child Custody Lawyer

  • Each parent's lifestyle
  • If siblings would be separated
  • The child's lifestyle and routine
  • Each parent's physical and mental health
  • Each parent's income and financial stability
  • Each parent's ability to provide a stable environment
  • The child's bond and / or relationship with each parent
  • The child's preference (if above a certain age, usually 12 years)
  • If the parents encourage the child to have a relationship with the other parent
  • If either parent has a history of alcoholism, drug abuse, or domestic violence
  • Each parent's ability to provide for the child, i.e. food, shelter, clothing, medical care

What Age Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live with in NY?

In New York, a child’s preference as to which parent they wish to live with is a factor that is considered important in any case. However, if the child is 13 or older, their choice is even more highly considered by the court.

Generally, the judge will evaluate the child’s maturity level to ascertain whether the child could be easily manipulated by their parents’ preference.

What Is A Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a document that is filled out by both parents that thoroughly details the division of parental responsibilities. Essentially, it is a plan that allows parents to maintain some control over how their family will operate post-divorce. Everything from large decisions (like visitation and medical considerations) to smaller details (like who the child spends certain holidays with) can be addressed and resolved in a parenting plan.

There are two kinds of parenting plans: sole custody plans and joint custody plans. As you might expect, sole custody plans place many of the major responsibilities and decision-making powers with one parent. However, in both situations, parents are given the opportunity to collaborate on key custody issues. It is always advised that both parents have their counsel help navigate this process and protect their interests along the way.

"What If We Can't Agree?"

There's always a chance that relations between two parents are too strained for them to collaborate on a parenting plan. In these cases, the court is ready to provide a number of remedies. For instance, it may hand down its own temporary custody arrangement until a time when the parents can revisit their parenting plan.

In other cases, the court may look to additional insight to help establish a suitable custody arrangement. The child may be appointed its own attorney ("Attorney for the Child" or "law guardian") to represent their interests. Forensic experts, such as social workers or child psychiatrists, may also step in to assess the needs and condition of the child and provide the court recommendations.

No matter what your parenting plan or child custody goals may be in your upcoming divorce, having dedicated and knowledgeable representation is crucial. Our award-winning Long Island child custody lawyers have assisted countless families as they faced their divorce and secured favorable, amicable results.

Hire a Long Island Child Custody Attorney Today

Whether your objective is to obtain sole or joint physical custody or legal custody, or simply visitation rights, an experienced Long Island child custody attorney at Samuelson Hause & Samuelson, LLP can provide you with the resources, attention, and dedicated representation needed to help you achieve your goals. We can help you reach an arrangement that serves the best interest of your family and preserves the relationships you have with your children.

Contact our firm to speak with a dedicated Long Island child custody lawyer who handles child custody in New York.

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