There are two types of custody in New York: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. Legal Custody concerns making decisions for the child, such as schooling, religious upbringing, and other day to day issues that concern raising the child. Physical Custody concerns where the child primarily resides.
The custodial parent is the parent who has primary Physical Custody of the child Upon making a request to the court for Child Support, the non-custodial parent will be required to pay monthly Child Support payments to the custodial parent. It should be noted that until a request for child support is made, the non-custodial parent is not under a legal obligation to make child support payments. Therefore, a Child Support Petition should be filed as soon as possible.
In many cases, the parents are not able to agree to which parent gets Legal Custody and Physical Custody. A Child Custody battle will ensue in court where the Judge will decide who gets custody. Child Custody is determined based on the best interest of the child standard. Many cases interpret this standard to the parent who is best able to meet the needs of the child. This is a fact specific inquiry that requires the court to consider specific facts in the case to determine custody. For example, if a child is 7 years old, elementary school will be an important consideration to the court. The court will place great weight (importance) on the parent who is best able to put the child on a good routine, sticking to a bedtime schedule, waking up early for school, preparing the child for tests and assisting with school work, and involved with school. If a child is special needs, even more emphasis will be placed on these factor. The court will look at the choice of school of each parent, this means that school zoning should be carefully considered if public schooling is being considered.
The court will need to be comfortable with the parent and ensure that the parent is mature and responsible to meet the child’s needs. Behaving professional in court is a must! This means avoiding outbursts, dressing professionally, and preparing for hearings with your attorney.
We serve clients throughout Queens and Nassau. Areas in Queens, to include, Astoria, Long Island City, Ditmars, Woodside, Middle Village, Flushing, Bayside, Rego Park, Jackson Heights, Corona, Jamaica, Elmhurst, Kew Gardens, Whitestone, Bayside, College Point, Bay Terrace, Great Neck, Kings Point, Port Washington, and all areas of Queens.
Areas in Nassau include, Freeport, Merrick, Baldwin, Oceanside, Valley Stream, Bohemia, Hauppauge, Amityville, Hicksville, East Meadow, Uniondale, Rockville Centre, and Manhasset.
If the parents are unable to agree on custody — a custody battle will ensure — and the Judge will award custody after a hearing is performed. The hearing is very similar to a trial where both sides will present evidence, witnesses, and testimony to prove that if will be in the child’s best interest to award custody to them. It is critical to have experienced trial counsel to prevail in a custody battle. A sound understanding of the rules of evidence and trial strategy is essential to put on a proper case.
When making custody determinations courts look at a variety of factors, such as:
Courts typically give the non-custodial parent generous visitation rights because contact with both parents is viewed as beneficial to the child, unless parental misconduct is an issue. In cases that involve abuse, neglect or other mistreatment of a child — supervised visitation may be required.
Contact Queens & Nassau Family Lawyers to learn more about Child Visitation.
The holidays should be a time when parents enjoy celebrating with their children. Unfortunately, some parents use the holidays as a time to weaponize their children.
This can occur when an ex-spouse invites a new partner to spend time with children during the holidays. An emotionally charged spouse may attempt to interfere with visitation by refusing to drop off the child at the appropriate time. This can result in plane trips being missed and other vacation disasters.
In order to avoid holiday mishaps, a visitation schedule should be agreed to that makes clear which days and times the child is spend holidays. In the event a parent intentionally violates a clearly drafted visitation schedule — severe sanctions may be imposed by the court.
33-08 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106
you can be assured that:
You will receive one on one personal attention in your Child Custody Case.
We have over 40 years combined family law experience in Astoria, Queens. We are the locals that know the ropes!
You are extremely important to us, which is why your calls will always be returned as a priority.
We are well known and well respected amongst locals in Astoria. We’ve been here a long time, and we’ll be here for you!
We can help you settle your matter without going to court, if it’s appropriate, or go into battle on your behalf. We are trial tested.