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Long Island Child Custody Lawyers

November 12, 2017

When custody of your children is on the line, you need the experience and skill of a solid legal team on your side. New York family court proceedings, especially as they relate to child custody cases, are a very unique area of trial law. You need a lawyer that specializes in family court and child custody cases, with an experienced team to back them up.

Child custody cases are a totally unique area of law

The issues surrounding child custody cases and the process by which these cases are decided are unique enough that it requires a great deal of experience in this particular area of the law to get the results that you are looking for. Our lawyers have hundreds of child custody cases under their belts, successfully meeting the goals of clients and restoring rightful custody to parents who have been unfairly harmed by prior custody decisions.

It is important to know that child custody cases are unlike any other. For starters, normally, courts are engaged in attempting to determine what has happened in the past and establishing guilt by piecing together the evidence into a coherent picture of what has transpired. In child custody cases,, however, the court is basing its judgement on what it perceives will happen in the future. On top of this, the majority of the legal framework for child custody cases in the state of New York is established by prior case law.

The actual laws, such as Domestic Relations Law 70, that deal directly with issues of child custody are often sparse, broadly worded and deal only with extreme situations, such as the procedures for removal of a child in the case of domestic violence or parental kidnapping. This means that family courts have unusually wide latitude within which to decide the outcomes of child custody cases. And these cases are usually binding until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 in the State of New York. On top of this, appeals courts almost never overturn the decisions of family court judges due to the complexities and high degree of subjectivity involved in family court decisions.

A good lawyer can help put you on a winning footing

All of this means that in child custody cases it can be even more important than normal to get a good lawyer on your side. Even if your ex-spouse does not hire counsel, having an experienced lawyer, who can help guide you through every step of the process and optimize your legal strategy, can help enormously. If you decide against hiring a lawyer and your ex-spouse decides to hire one, you will stand little chance of enjoying an outcome that is satisfactory to you.

What matters and what doesn’t?

There are some misconceptions among those going through the family courts for the first time regarding what factors are likely to affect your ability to retain custody of your children to the extent you are seeking. For example, many people assume that, if they can demonstrate that the other parent abuses drugs or alcohol, then they have a much improved chance of being awarded full custody. While this may be true in some extreme cases, it usually only has a significant effect where the drug or alcohol abuse is so severe that it results in gross neglect of the children.

On the other hand, something that may seem relatively innocuous, such as courtroom demeanor and appearance, can have a decisive effect on how the judge ultimately disposes of the case.

More than anything, an experienced lawyer will help you come prepared and avoid mistakes that could cost you the custody of your children.

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