New York Custody Lawyer
New York child custody decisions are based upon an application of what is known as the best interests of a child standard. With this background in mind, if you face a child custody issue, you need to understand this standard and some other essential facts about child custody law and court procedures. You also need to be proactive when it comes to seeking professional assistance from a qualified New York custody lawyer.
Understanding the Best Interest of a Child Standard
The best interest of a child standard requires a court to consider child custody determinations on truly a case-by-case basis. In other words, there is not one set template by which all child custody decisions are made in New York divorce and paternity cases.
The best interests of a child standard requires a court to consider a number of factors when making a custody decisions. These factors include a consideration of the overall physical, mental, and emotional health of a child. A court will also consider the living arrangements of each parent. A court will contemplate which party, if granted primary residential custody, will encourage the other parent to have an active role in the life of a child.
One type of custody that can be at issue in a divorce or paternity case is legal custody. Legal custody involves the right or ability of a parent to make key decisions on behalf of a child. These key matters include such things as a child’s education, medical care, and religion.
Physical custody is the designation of a parent to provide a primary residence for a child. The other parent, the noncustodial parent, is awarded visitation of parenting time.
Legal and physical custody can be jointly shared by both parents. Joint legal custody means that both parents will be involved in making major life decisions for a child. Joint physical custody means that both parents provide a residence for the child, however one parent is likely to be designated the primary residential custodian for the child. The other parent will have reasonable and regular visitation.
Sole custody involves only one parent having legal or physical custody of a child. A parent may have sole legal and physical custody, or sole physical but joint legal custody with the other parent.
When sole legal custody exists, only one parent has the legal ability to make primary life decisions for the child. When sole physical custody is in place, only one parent is the residential custodian of the child. The other parent may or may not have visitation, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.
Retain a New York Custody Lawyer
If you face a custody case, you need to seriously consider retaining the services of a New York custody lawyer. A New York custody lawyer can best protect your legal rights and interests when it comes to issues pertaining to your child.
The first step in hiring a New York custody lawyer is to arranged for what is known as an initial consultation. During an initial consultation, an attorney will provide an evaluation of your case. You will be able to get answers to your questions. There usually is no charge for an initial consultation with a skilled, experienced New York custody lawyer.