As parents divorce, the divorce ruling will specify who between the divorcing couple will live with the children. The court will also clarify the circumstances under which the other parent can visit the children. Frequently, agree on these arrangements between themselves, either voluntarily or with the help of a mediator or their attorney. There are cases where some parents fail to agree on child custody; the court may intervene and provide a decision based on the child’s interest. Here are some decisions care options that may arise out of child custody ruling. The court’s decree on child custody always favors the best interest of the child.
Physical and legal custody
Often the court awards physical custody to one parent who will live with the child for most of the time. However, in many cases, the custodial and noncustodial parent will share legal custody of the child. Legal custody implies that the parent has the right to decide on the child’s important aspects of life such as healthcare, religion, education, etc.
Some parents may opt for a joint custody agreement in which the child spends almost equal amount of time with each parent. Those who advocate for this arrangement say it minimizes the feeling of loss that the child may experience during divorce. Some, however, think that is best for the child to have a single home, with the noncustodial parent allowed to visit the child at their liberty. The critics say that the arrangement requires maximum cooperation between parents. Often courts may fail to recognize joint custody agreement unless the two parents agree on the arrangement and can cooperate and make joint decisions for the sake of the child.
This arrangement has it that one a single parent has custody of one or more of the couple’s children and the other parent takes care of the others. Many people do not prefer this option, and even the courts do not prefer to isolate siblings when giving their decree.
In the case of an unmarried couple, often the statute will award sole physical custody to the mother unless the father moves to court to be granted the custody. In many cases, an unwed father cannot win custody of the child, particularly when the mother is a good parent. However, the unmarried father will take priority over others that include relatives, foster parents, or potential adoptive parents.
Factors considered when making custody decisions
The courts consider various factors when deciding who will have the custody of the children. Often the courts will make a ruling in favor of the child’s best interests. However, such a decision may be hard to determine. Often the courts will consider which parent has played the role of primary caretaker to the child. For the case of grown children, the court will consider their preference when establishing a custody decision. While the best concerns of the child remain constant, here are some factors that judges analyze to come to their conclusion.
Fully Protect Your Legal Interests with Queens Child Support Lawyers
Divorce proceedings represent some of the most legally complex and emotionally challenging of all court matters in Queens, elsewhere in New York, and across the United States. One of the potentially most contentious elements of a divorce case is that involving child support.
In the past two decades, New York law has been refashioned in an attempt to make issues associated with child support less contentious. This has included the creation of specific guidelines that are designed to make the calculation of child support more standardized and less subjective.
Temporary Child Support
At the commencement of a divorce case, motions are filed by the spouses to obtain temporary orders. Temporary orders deal with issues that include child custody, parenting time or visitation, and child support.
The child support guidelines come into play when a temporary child support order is issued by the court. The guidelines primarily take into consideration the income of both parents in calculating the child support obligation of the noncustodial parent. Other factors include extraordinary expenses that may exist in a specific case. These can include medical expenses associated with a child.
“Permanent” Child Support Order
At the conclusion of a divorce case, the court will include a “permanent” child support order as part of the marriage dissolution decree. Once again, computing the final child support order in a divorce case is done utilizing the New York Child Support Guidelines.
Child Support Enforcement
Unfortunately, there are many instances in which the parent obliged to pay child support fails to honor that obligation. In other words, this parent fails to comply with a court order regarding child support.
When that happens, the parent who is to receive support payments on behalf of a child needs to seek assistance with enforcement of a child support order. There are different options available to a parent who needs to seek enforcement of a child support order. These include potentially being able to seek assistance from the state of New York as well as retaining the professional services of an experienced Queens child support lawyer.
Changing Child Support
There may come a point in time when a legitimate reason exists for altering or amending a child support order. For example, if a parent has experienced a significant change in income, an alteration of an existing child support order may be appropriate.
The parents can agree on altering a child support order. In the alternative, if no agreement is reached, a parent can file a motion with the court to seek such an alteration
Not only must there be a notable change in income to support a change in child support, a certain amount of time must pass between the establishment of a child support obligation and an attempt to alter that order. The law does not permit regular and routine alterations of child support orders, upwards or downwards.
Even when parents agree on an alteration of a child support obligation, a court still analyzes the proposed change to ensure that it is consistent with the guidelines. Barring some unusual circumstances, New York law does not permit significant deviations from the child support guidelines.
Hire Experienced Queens Child Support Lawyers
As a general rule, attempting to address child support issues without legal assistance is not an advisable course. Rather, you should give serious consideration to retaining legal counsel.
You can schedule an initial consultation with a Queens child support attorney to learn more about the law and your legal rights. Generally speaking, there is no fee charged for this type of consultation with a prospective client. Through such a consult, you can obtain an evaluation of your case and answers to your questions.
Divorce is hard on everyone. It is tough on you, your ex, and your respective families. It is especially hard on your children. Breaking up the only home they’ve ever known will have consequences on their mental and emotional health. That is why it is better to try and sort out the custody arrangements in a way that puts their needs first.
If divorce is a decision that you and your ex-partner arrived at in a calm and amicable way, you may find some advantage in coming to a custody arrangement through a process of mediation rather than a court proceeding.
The number of mediations has soared in the last decade or so, as more divorcing couples have opted for a less expensive and harmful way of splitting up. The process involves the two of you working through issues and coming to resolutions in a calm and rational way. Child custody and support can be part of those discussions. It is one that many people opt for because it tends to result in a more reasonable result. You should have an experienced child custody lawyer by your side as you go through the mediation process.
If you are going through a divorce that is more difficult, then you will have even greater need for an attorney experienced in handling child custody and support cases. A hard and more emotionally tense break-up requires more vigilance. You must do what is necessary to preserve and protect your parental rights. It is also important that the material needs of the child be looked after.
Although your child will need a great deal of support and nurturing as they grow up in a divorced family, the needs of their everyday life and future education should not be neglected. A divided household is not as financially and materially robust as a joint household. The custody and support arrangements you seek should reflect that.
Whether you are seeking sole custody or joint custody, you must ensure that enough money is coming into your home so that your child is properly looked after. That is why you must hire a lawyer with extensive experience and expertise handling these kinds of cases.
Getting a fair and just child custody arrangement is all about strategy. The attorney you hire must know the law of course; but more than that, they must be skilled in their ability to bring the circumstances of the case to bear.
If you are able to avert a child custody trial, then the arrangement will be made through negotiation. The attorney you hire should be good in the room. They will represent you as you battle to protect your interests, and so they must know how to get the attorneys on your ex’s side of the table to yield. In determining whether the lawyer you’re thinking about hiring can do this, first impressions matter. The more important way of assessing their strengths is to do independent research. This will give you a sense of their record and reputation for getting favorable results for their clients.
A custody and support case that goes to trial requires a different set of skills. Family court judges are genuinely interested in doing what is best for the child of divorced couples. The cases in which one parent is suing for sole custody are usually the ones that go before a judge. If you are that parent, the speaking and argumentation style of your attorney must be one that demonstrates conclusively that your child is better off with you. Only certain lawyers have the skill and experience to perform in such a situation. You must take steps to ensure that yours is one of them.