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Starting Fresh And Keeping Your Children’s Best Interests In Mind

Ensuring your children’s best interests are at the forefront during your separation or divorce can be one of the most overwhelming aspects for you right now. The best-case scenario is where you and your child’s other parent can agree to terms of physical and legal custody. New York family courts prefer for parents to come to an agreeable arrangement for their children. After all, you know your children best. The family court judges favor parents agreeing to commit to joint custody and parenting responsibilities because this arrangement would maintain regular and consistent contact between both parents and their children. When parents do not have a court order for child custody, both parents have an equal share of responsibility for making decisions, caring for and providing for their child.

Your Child’s Safety And Health Come First

When parents cannot agree about which parent the child will live with following a separation of households, the court will make the decision for parents using terms set out under the “best interests of the child” guidelines. These guidelines are not rigid and do not favor a mother or a father. When domestic violence is a factor in your divorce or separation, of course, your child’s safety is the main concern. The court also considers factors such as:

  • Which parent is proven to be the child’s primary nurturer and best able to care for the child
  • How each parent’s general mental and physical health affect their relationship and parenting ability
  • How each parent will approach child care arrangements when they have to go to work
  • If there are other children, how the new arrangement is going to flow and promote healthy relationships
  • For children of a certain age, the court may even lean toward the child’s preferences
  • If one or both parents are contending with illegal substance abuse or history of violence

In the case where the court grants one parent sole physical or legal custody of the child, the other parent will be subject to an agreeable visitation schedule, if doing so does not harm the child. Sometimes, parents think they can withhold visitation from the other parent because of child support issues. Not paying child support is not a valid reason for keeping your child from visiting with their other parent. If your child’s safety is at risk, a modification of a visitation order may be sought.

Stand Confident In Your Decisions With An Experienced Advocate At Your Side

At Ganci Law Group P.C., I can help you understand New York’s complex laws surrounding child custody and visitation. I can help you establish paternity when necessary to get the child support your child needs. While the state provides the formula for establishing child support amounts, there may be exceptions that apply. I will help you explore your options to ensure your child’s needs are met. Call my office in Kew Gardens at 347-808-5133 or send me an email for a consultation for any legal matters related to your children.