If you’re splitting up with your partner or are no longer in a relationship with the other parent of your child, figuring out child custody can be a tough issue. But don’t worry; you can still be a part of your child’s life by working with a capable child custody lawyer.

At The Saul Law Firm, we have a track record of effectively handling custody and parenting time cases in family courts in Nassau and Suffolk counties. We understand the importance of your bond with your children and will help you achieve a creative solution for your family. 

What You Need to Know About Child Custody 

In New York, custody refers to the legal responsibility for a child’s care and can be divided into two types – physical custody and legal custody:

  • Physical custody: also known as residential custody, determines where the child will live and outlines the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights (parenting time).
  • Legal custody: involves decision-making authority over critical matters such as education and healthcare.

Also, custody can be classified as either sole or joint custody. Typically, courts in New York prefer joint legal custody arrangements, encouraging parents to share decision-making authority. However, joint physical custody is only awarded when both parents agree on the child’s primary residence and visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent.

Notably, the courts will only grant a divorce if both parties agree on custody and parenting time. Our experienced child custody attorney can help you negotiate a workable custody arrangement that meets with court approval. 

Putting Your Children’s Best Interests At The Forefront

Though courts in New York recognize that mothers and fathers have equal parental rights, parents do not have an automatic right to custody of their children. The court may restrict a parent’s access to their children if there is evidence of child abuse, domestic violence, or substance abuse.

Ultimately, the court’s priority is to ensure that custody arrangements are in the best interests of the children. To determine this, the court takes the physical, emotional, and social needs of the children into consideration. Other factors the court will consider include: 

  • The parenting skills of each parent
  • The mental and physical health of each parent
  • The willingness of each parent to maintain a close relationship with their children
  • The preferences of the children, depending on their age

Our attorneys understand the importance of protecting your parental rights and the well-being of your children. While we prefer to avoid court intervention, we are well-equipped to represent you in a custody hearing if necessary, ensuring that you have peace of mind throughout the process.

Can child custody be modified?

In the event of significant changes in circumstances, a child custody order can be modified even after the arrangements have been settled. Reasons for modifying a child custody order include:

  • The custodial parent needs to relocate to a different city or state for employment purposes
  • The custodial parent refuses to make the child available for parenting time
  • Evidence of child abuse or neglect by either parent
  • Alcohol or drug abuse by either parent

If you are looking to modify a child custody order, our attorneys can assist you in reaching a new agreement that is in the best interests of the children. As with any decisions concerning children, the modification must prioritize their welfare.

How Our Child Custody Lawyers Can Help

Parents may struggle to resolve child custody issues during a contentious divorce, as emotions can cloud their judgment. Our attorneys can offer reliable guidance and impartial insights to help you make the best decisions for your children.

We understand that co-parenting arrangements can be challenging to achieve, and we are here to assist you in considering various factors, such as who will continue to reside in the family home and how close the parents will live to one another. Our goal is to help you reach a viable agreement regarding primary custody, visitation rights, and parenting time.

While we first work to negotiate custody arrangements that will be approved by the court, we are well-prepared to litigate if an agreement cannot be reached or if there is evidence of child abuse or domestic violence. You can trust our attorneys to protect your parental rights and advocate for your children’s best interests at all times.

Talk To An Experienced Garden City Child Custody Attorney Today

Whether you need assistance working out a custody arrangement or establishing your parental rights through a paternity action, turn to The Saul Law Firm. Above all, we will work to protect your interests and help preserve your bond with your children. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.

The Saul Law Firm, LLP helps clients with child custody and visitation matters throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, Garden City Queens, Brooklyn, New York City, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Westchester County.