If you are located in the New York City area and are going through a divorce or splitting up with a significant other with whom you were never married, it is an emotional, trying time. When there were children produced during the course of the relationship, things can get even more difficult because you have to consider what’s best for them. No matter what the situation, it’s absolutely essential to have a skilled family law attorney on your side to coach you as to the best ways to proceed and to represent you during your case in New York’s family court.
Child Custody and Visitation Rights in New York City
One of the most difficult components of a divorce, when there are children involved, is visitation, which is part of child custody and goes hand-in-hand with it. Regardless of where you live in the New York City area, the verdict handed down in your child custody and visitation case is always based on one specific question: What is in the child’s best interest? It’s important to know all the ins and outs of child custody and visitation so that you know what to expect when your case is heard in the family court.
• Full Custody: Full custody is exactly what it sounds like and means that the parent who is awarded full custody of the child or children is in full control of all decisions that are made that affect the life and welfare of the child. It means that this parent gets to decide the child’s primary residence, how the child will be educated, what doctors he or she will see and other matters, such as religion.
• Physical Custody: Physical custody, which is also known as residential custody, relates to the home that will serve as the child’s primary residence. The parent who has physical custody of the child is the person who makes choices that affect the child’s life on a daily basis. This includes the time the child goes to bed, what the child will eat and so forth.
• Joint Custody: Joint custody is also known as shared custody. It means that both parents equally share in the major decisions involved in raising the child and that affect the child’s life. Joint custody does not take into account physical custody because both parents still have equality in the decisions that affect the child.
Visitation and a Parent’s Rights
If the family court does not award both parents joint custody but one has been awarded full custody and/or physical custody, the other may file a petition for visitation rights. In general, the court will hear both custody and visitation matters during the same hearing, but a parent can file a petition for visitation as a separate issue. In addition to a parent, other family members like grandparents can also file this type of petition. The court awards visitation only if it is in the best interests of the child.
During a visitation hearing, it’s wise for the parent petitioning to have an experienced family law attorney representing them. In some cases, the individual may not be able to afford a lawyer, but the judge can appoint one at no cost. Sometimes, the judge can even appoint an attorney to represent the child.
What is Custody and Visitation Mediation?
There is another matter relating to custody and visitation known as mediation. It’s important to know what this means and how it’s important for both the parents and the child.
• Mediation: This is a process meant to resolve conflicts and can help parents to better communicate with the child. It can also help the parties discuss all issues affecting the child
• Mediator: A mediator is a neutral person who is trained in the area of parenting who can help a parent or both parents to find ways that can make the situation better within the family
If you are going through a divorce or separation and want visitation rights with your child, it’s wise to hire a skilled family law attorney. It’s your best bet at getting a positive outcome.
Former spouses must come to many decisions covering numerous issues when going through a divorce. With regards to the subject of child custody, divorces can get especially intense and emotional. It’s difficult for parents to relinquish their right to spend time with their child daily in their home, as well as during the holidays. For those who are going through a divorce, it’s critical that you secure a NYC child custody lawyer to represent you to ensure the best possible decisions occur regarding your asset division, children, and divorce proceedings.
Legal vs. Physical Custody
Under most circumstances, there are two components involving a child custody case, and they include legal and physical custody. When a parent has legal custody of a child, it’s their responsibility to make all important decisions for them until they reach adulthood. In the state of New York, when a parent has physical custody, this refers to a child’s primary residence or if there is a joint custody arrangement between parents. It’s possible for legal and physical custody to involve a sole or joint custody arrangement depending on the distinct context of each divorce case.
How Can a NYC Lawyer Help?
It can be challenging for some parents to receive child custody orders if the former spouses are unable to agree with each other. In these situations, they’ll go before a judge to obtain a court order or undergo a mediation process. If there are situations of abuse occurring, or if either of the spouses has an interest in relocating, the child custody proceedings could become expensive and emotional immediately.
It’s essential for parents to find a team of NYC child custody lawyers with years of experience working with every aspect of divorce cases, including having a specialty in how to relate to child custody cases. For example, the firm should have a specialty in how to work with parents regarding child support orders, enforcement of child support orders that are delinquent, defending a child support order, visitation arrangements, paternity testing, and modification of all orders about the family matters case.
How Do You Know if You Need a Lawyer?
It isn’t impossible for a divorce involving children to find resolution without a lawyer, but the chances of this happening in an amicable way are rare. The wise recommendation is to seek help from a NYC visitation lawyer to ensure your needs are adequately met. Under most circumstances, it’s a good idea to meet with a few lawyers to get a feel for which one will best serve your needs based on their expertise, skills, and previous experience. If the lawyer doesn’t find a conflict of interest in taking your case, they’ll offer you a retainer agreement with a price for their representation which each of you will agree upon. Upon retaining your lawyer, they’ll begin working with you on exploring your case and possible conflicts that may arise.
Because your lawyer is specializing in conflicts that could occur, they’ll look at the specifics of your case regarding asset division, child custody, and visitation. They’ll help you navigate through all the emotional battles you’ll experience throughout the child custody issues. It’s for this reason you’ll be looking for a NYC visitation lawyer with experience working with child custody cases. Your lawyer must look at a realistic schedule, as well as the situations the former spouses are dealing with before crafting plans that will produce the best possible results for everyone involved. It should be their mission to consider the child’s best long-term interests.
How Do You Find a NYC Visitation Lawyer?
The best way to learn more about NYC visitation lawyers to assist you with your child custody cases during your upcoming divorce case is to research lawyers in your area. Contact at least three and schedule a consultation. A reputable attorney will not charge for this initial consultation and, if they do, immediately remove them from your list. Bring as much information as possible to this initial consultation as possible including paycheck stubs, tax forms, and any other documentation you believe would support your child custody case.