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NYC Child Visitation Lawyers

If you are located in the New York City area and are going through a divorce or splitting up with a significant other with whom you were never married, it is an emotional, trying time. When there were children produced during the course of the relationship, things can get even more difficult because you have to consider what’s best for them. No matter what the situation, it’s absolutely essential to have a skilled family law attorney on your side to coach you as to the best ways to proceed and to represent you during your case in New York’s family court.

Child Custody and Visitation Rights in New York City

One of the most difficult components of a divorce, when there are children involved, is visitation, which is part of child custody and goes hand-in-hand with it. Regardless of where you live in the New York City area, the verdict handed down in your child custody and visitation case is always based on one specific question: What is in the child’s best interest? It’s important to know all the ins and outs of child custody and visitation so that you know what to expect when your case is heard in the family court.

Full Custody: Full custody is exactly what it sounds like and means that the parent who is awarded full custody of the child or children is in full control of all decisions that are made that affect the life and welfare of the child. It means that this parent gets to decide the child’s primary residence, how the child will be educated, what doctors he or she will see and other matters, such as religion.
Physical Custody: Physical custody, which is also known as residential custody, relates to the home that will serve as the child’s primary residence. The parent who has physical custody of the child is the person who makes choices that affect the child’s life on a daily basis. This includes the time the child goes to bed, what the child will eat and so forth.
Joint Custody: Joint custody is also known as shared custody. It means that both parents equally share in the major decisions involved in raising the child and that affect the child’s life. Joint custody does not take into account physical custody because both parents still have equality in the decisions that affect the child.

Visitation and a Parent’s Rights

If the family court does not award both parents joint custody but one has been awarded full custody and/or physical custody, the other may file a petition for visitation rights. In general, the court will hear both custody and visitation matters during the same hearing, but a parent can file a petition for visitation as a separate issue. In addition to a parent, other family members like grandparents can also file this type of petition. The court awards visitation only if it is in the best interests of the child.

During a visitation hearing, it’s wise for the parent petitioning to have an experienced family law attorney representing them. In some cases, the individual may not be able to afford a lawyer, but the judge can appoint one at no cost. Sometimes, the judge can even appoint an attorney to represent the child.

What is Custody and Visitation Mediation?

There is another matter relating to custody and visitation known as mediation. It’s important to know what this means and how it’s important for both the parents and the child.

Mediation: This is a process meant to resolve conflicts and can help parents to better communicate with the child. It can also help the parties discuss all issues affecting the child
Mediator: A mediator is a neutral person who is trained in the area of parenting who can help a parent or both parents to find ways that can make the situation better within the family

If you are going through a divorce or separation and want visitation rights with your child, it’s wise to hire a skilled family law attorney. It’s your best bet at getting a positive outcome.