Brooklyn Child Custody Lawyer Explains Visitation and Custody Laws in New York
When a married couple decides to get divorced, one of the most contentious and emotionally-volatile issues is associated with custody of their child, or children.
In many instances, divorcing parents can agree on where their child will reside and how to raise them. However, this is not always the case, especially if the divorce is predicated on adultery, drug use, spousal abuse, or another serious safety issue.
If you and your spouse are planning to separate and you are struggling to agree on how to arrange custody, now is the time to retain the services of an experienced Brooklyn child custody lawyer. A seasoned Brooklyn attorney can help alleviate some of the stress and work to reach an amicable agreement between you and your spouse.
Types of Custody and Visitation
There are two types of custody under New York law: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child spends most of their time living. Legal custody refers to the parents’ right to make important decisions about how their child is raised, for example, decisions about education and religion.
In many situations, parents will have joint legal custody, meaning they both have rights to decide how to raise their child. However, only one parent will have physical custody, and the other will instead be granted visitation rights.
Visitation rights refer to the times a parent without physical custody is entitled to spend time with their child. A judge deciding custody will usually draft a formal visitation schedule. The parent with physical custody cannot disrupt the schedule, or prevent the other parent from seeing the child.
Resolving Custody Issues Out of Court
Not all custody issues need to be debated and resolved before a judge in a New York courtroom. A savvy Brooklyn family attorney can help facilitate negotiations in an out-of-court setting to try and achieve a resolution. For example, an option to consider in resolving child custody and visitation issues is mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. A qualified mediator will help you talk through your issues with your former spouse to try and resolve custody issues without going to court.
Because mediation can save a lot of time, stress, and costs for both parents and the courts, some judges will order mediation before they will hear a custody petitioncan be heard in court.
Filing a Custody Petition
If you and your spouse cannot agree to an out-of-court resolution related to custody and visitation, you may file a custody petition in the appropriate state court.
Neither parent has “more” of a right to custody. However, judges generally favor the parent with whom the child lives at the time of the petition.
The judge will make a decision on custody based on what it is the best interests of the child, taking into account many factors, including:
- Which parent presents the most stable and fulfilling home life.
- Which parent is better suited to juggling childcare arrangements.
- The mental and physical health of the parents.
- Whether any abuse is present.
- The parents’ finances.
- Educational opportunities.
The wishes of the child will also be taken into account. The older the child, the more weight will be given to their preferences. For example, a court is more likely to listen to a seventeen-year-old than a toddler.
What if Your Spouse Refuses to Comply with a Custody Order?
Refusing to comply with an order of the court can result in a contempt of court charge. Therefore, if your former spouse is refusing to comply with the custody order (for example, by not allowing you visitation under the visitation schedule), consult your attorney immediately as they can seek legal recourse on your behalf.
Contact a Skilled and Experienced Brooklyn Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer Today
If you are struggling to reach an agreement with your spouse concerning child custody and/or visitation rights, it is important that you have a skilled and knowledgeable attorney on your side to help guide you through this difficult process. The attorney with the Bukh Law Firm are here to help.
Our Brooklyn law firm combines personalized service, vast experience and strong advocacy in and out of court to identify the arrangements that will work for you and your family. We have helped hundreds of people in both NY and NJ with child custody and visitation issues. We have a deep understanding of the applicable laws associated with custody and visitation and will do all we can to ensure an amicable agreement is reached.
Our team of legal professionals are fully capable in helping you with the following legal issues: joint custody or physical custody, child visitation rights, issues related to parenting time, grandparent visitation, and seeking custody modifications. Contact our office today to schedule an in-person meeting.