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Long Island Parent Education, Child Custody, Visitation and Parenting Time

The most affected parties in a divorce are not the parents but the children. Parents have already developed their own filters and have their own separate strategies of coping. But children? They are still growing up and as such, they still don’t have the wherewithal by which they can traverse this difficult stage of life emotionally unscathed. That’s why the overarching concern of the courts in Long Island, New York when it comes to divorce proceedings is the well-being of the concerned children.

When divorce is really the only way out, parents need to educate themselves on what they are about to enter into to give their children the best chances of growing up as normal as possible. Important aspects of parent education, child custody, visitation and parenting time are the things that they should learn and understand for the sake of their kids. These are the topics that this article will discuss to help parents and children successfully navigate this difficult stage in their lives.

Parental Education Is Required

In New York, the courts may require parents to take a parental education course and complete it. The course may cover different topics that will depend on the particular situation of the parents. Although there may be some differences in the some classes, parent education as prescribed by New York courts have the goal of helping divorcing parents understand how the children will be affected by their separation.

After they have taken these classes, parents will be more able to acquire the resources as well as the skills to give proper care to their children. They will also be able to help their children traverse this difficult time in their early lives without being emotionally damaged as much as possible. Parents need to know these thing whether they are in custody of their children or not. Parents, by themselves, can choose to take these classes, alone or together. But the New York courts may also order them to take these classes, if the courts perceive circumstances that warrant it.

Some of the topics that will be discussed in a parent education class are the following:

  • How divorce will affect their emotions, and the strategies in effectively managing the effects in children if their marriage will be dissolved.
  • The stages of development in children’s experiences and how divorce, custody battles and visitation can affect these stages.
  • The manner by which some children may react to some types of parental conduct such as long-distance parenting.

What Is Important In Determining Child Custody?

Since it is very rare that both divorced parents share the same ideas about the custody of their children, there is a need for them to be aware of their options. The main aim of the court is to ensure that the children will be provided with the best environment for growing up. In other words, the parent who cannot provide adequate child care, unable to offer a secure home environment, cannot find work, and obstruct visitation rights may lose or may not be given custody of the children.

These are some of the factors that the courts consider in their decision as to which parent will be given custody of the children.

  • The employment status of the parent
  • The mental and physical health of the parent
  • The personality, ability for raising children, and disposition of the parent
  • The ability and skill of the parent in encouraging healthy relationships with the other parent and the extended family
  • The relationship of the children with the parent
  • The child-raising ability and skills of the parent
  • The motive of the parent in seeking custody of the child
  • The parent whom the children would like to live with

It is very important for parents to remember that once the court has made a custody decision, it will be very difficult to change it. However, there are situations when the original custodial decision can be reversed.

  • If the parent gets criminally convicted and goes to prison
  • If the parent becomes an alcohol or drug addict
  • If the parent gets a job that prevents him from properly giving child care
  • If the parent transfers to another place that can adversely affect the visitation rights of the other parent

Parental Visitation Usually Varies

In matters of parental visitation, it usually varies from family to family since each family has different circumstances. But in all cases, visitation details the specific schedule in which the non-custodial parent can see the children. There are also some instances where visitations are not specific but more generic in nature. In these cases, both parents agree to discuss and arrange visitations in the future. But in most cases, visitations are more specific.

For parents who opt for a generic schedule, it is very typical that the children will be alternating their school breaks and holidays between their parents. There are cases wherein some specific holidays are more important to one parent so the children will be with this parent on those occasions. If a holiday is important to both parents, then the children could alternate their holidays with each of the parent every year. There are also cases wherein visitation is classified as supervised. In such cases, the affected parent may only visit his children in the supervision of a court representative.

Parenting Time Complications

Parenting time in most cases when related with divorce proceedings can also refer to visitation since they are almost the same thing. There are times when the divorcing parents simply agree on how to distribute their children’s time between them. They could be helped by their custody lawyers or through mediation. But if it is left to the court to decide the issue, it will always act in the best interests of the children.

A typical issue that will complicate the decision is when a parent has addiction problems. These problems could include drug, alcohol and even gambling addiction. Even mental and lifestyle issues can make parenting time difficult to resolve. If the other parent has problems with sobriety, the court will decide if exposure of the child to the parent can be allowed or not. For those who need help in resolving issues and problems in child custody, visitation and parenting time, the divorce lawyers at Darren M. Shapiro, P.C. Law and Mediation Office are always ready to help.