Manhattan Child Visitation Lawyers
Having children is one of the greatest blessings of life. Spending quality time with them despite scheduling limitations is essential. Balancing a career and other responsibilities make things complicated. Add a divorce into the mix and your time with your child may be very limited. When ending a marriage, you need an experienced lawyer that has ample experience in dealing with child custody cases. You want the best arrangement possible that meets not only your needs but also the needs of the child.
Going through a divorce when children are involved means that there will be a visitation schedule, child support, and a detailed custody agreement. The court must approve any arrangement and ensure that it is for the best interests of the child. In previous times, the father was often overlooked, and the mother was favored as the primary custodial parent. However, things have certainly changed, and fathers are now viewed as equals in the parenting equation. Having a 50/50 shared parenting arrangement is more commonplace, but some father’s walk away with full custody these days.
The Best Interests of The Child
The court is faced with a difficult conundrum in a divorce situation, especially if it’s a bitter battle. They must make all arrangements for visitation and custody based on the best interest of the child. Each parent has their opinion of what’s best for their children, but the court must be biased in the situation. They look at several factors, and they may ask a Guardian Ad Litem to step in and be an advocate for the children. Together, they look at the following items:
1. Age and Grade Level of the child
2. Emotional or Medical Needs
4. The Financial Standing of Both Parents – Who Can Provide Best?
5. The Lifestyle of Both Mother and Father
6. Current Relationship and Attachments with Parents
7. The Child’s Wishes
8. Stability of Living Situations – Quality of Homelife and Set-up
9. School Districts and Grade Reports from Schools
10. The Parents Ability to Work With Each Other To Maintain A Good Relationship
In most cases in New York, one person will receive the title of custodial parent, and the other parent will receive visitation rights. While they may not have physical custody, they do have rights. The court can mandate a schedule to ensure it’s kept or they can allow the parents to work together. When the agenda is agreed upon in court, any change to that document must be submitted for the court to approve.
Common Issues with Child Custody Arrangements
In a perfect world, everyone would agree and try to maintain friendships for the sake of the child. Unfortunately, child custody and visitation schedules are often very contentious issues that are full of drama. Once the court has approved the agenda, neither parent has the right to alter that schedule without the court’s intervention.
It’s often observed that one parent will try to interfere with the visitation schedule in spite of the other parent. For instance, if one parent doesn’t pay their mandated child support payment, then the other parent may take their visitation as a punishment for the missed payments. It’s illegal for anyone to keep their child from the other parent unless there is a fear of danger and there is significant documentation to warrant it.
Even in that case, a new motion must be made before the court to alter the original arrangement, and the court must make the final decision. Anyone who violates any part of these court-mandated agreements is in violation and can be held in contempt.
Child visitation and custody matters are complicated, and they keep the court’s dockets full. It’s best to work together and come up with reasonable agreements before getting the court involved. However, when things are too complicated, and there is much contention, then having an experienced legal representative on your side is imperative. A Manhattan child custody and visitation attorney can help.