As an experienced attorney, I have extensive experience drafting custody agreements. The process can be drawn-out and stressful sometimes or it can be relatively straightforward. Generally speaking, I think it is best if there is a spirit of collaboration where the two sides can craft an agreement in a way that sets a constructive tone for moving forward.
Common Concepts That Should Be Considered
There are a variety of different issues that should be discussed with your lawyer in regard to child custody:
- An order of custody: This gives the responsibility of care, maintenance and control of the child to one or both parents. The courts generally prefer joint custody because it is believed best for the children.
- Custody hearing: If the couple agrees to a custody plan, then a family court judge will enter an order of custody without a formal hearing. If they cannot agree, the judge will have a formal hearing where both sides testify. The court will then award custody.
- Visitation: This is where a parent files a petition in family court against the parent who has custody of the child. The court can order this if it is in the child’s best interests.
- Parenting plans: The parents may have a written plan even if one parent has sole custody.
- Modifications: Modifications are common because a child’s needs often change, families move and people’s jobs change.
How Does The Court Decide?
If the matter goes to New York’s Family Court, the judge takes several factors into consideration. These include:
- Whom the child wants to live with
- The wishes of the parents
- The environment of living situation
- Personal history of each parent, including mental and physical health
- The willingness of the parents to be active in the child’s life
Exceptional Guidance In Custody Cases
If you have questions about custody or feel that your custody arrangement is not beneficial, you can call my office in Garden City at 516-350-5074 or use my handy Contact page. All initial consultations are free.