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Suffolk County Joint Custody Lawyer

If you are facing a custody case, whether one that is disputed or in which you have reached at least some agreement with the other parent, you need to understand the essentials of custody law. In addition, you need to keep in mind the significant importance of retaining the services of a skilled, experienced Suffolk county joint custody lawyer.

Understanding Legal and Physical Custody in the State of New York

Legal custody involves the designation of a parent to make primary life decisions for a minor child. These include decisions related to matters like health and medical care, religion, and education.

Physical custody is determining which parent will provide a residence for a child. When it comes to addressing physical custody, the matter of visitation or parenting time is also addressed.

Understanding Joint Custody

In a joint legal custody arrangement, both parents share in making major life decisions for a child. When it comes to physical custody, both parents provide a residence for a child, oftentimes with one parent being designated as the primary residential custodian of the minor.

Standard for Setting Child Custody in New York

Pursuant to the laws of the state of New York, the Suffolk County Family Court utilizes what is known as the best interests of the child standard in child custody proceedings. This standard requires the court to establish a custody order the serves the best interests of the child.

When considering the best interests of a child in a custody case, the court considers an array of factors. These include a look at which parent historically provided primary care for a child. Other considerations of the court include the overall physical, mental, and emotional health of the parties. The court can examine a variety of other issues, depending on the facts and circumstances of the parents and the child involved in a custody proceeding.

Standard for Changing Child Custody in New York

The Suffolk County Family Court utilizes the best interests of the child standard when it comes to taking up a motion or request to change the custodial arrangement in a case. The court considers another standard as well.

When faced with the prospect of changing custody, a court also examines whether there has been a material change in circumstances that warrants a custodial change. Custody cannot be changed on a whim and for no solid reason.

Agreement to Change of Custody

Parents do have the ability to voluntarily agree to a change of custody. Indeed, the Suffolk County Family Court encourages parents in divorce and post-divorce matters, including child custody cases, to attempt to resolve issues on their own.

Keep in mind that even if the parents agree to a change of custody, the court is still involved in handing down a new custody order. Even if the parents have agreed between themselves, the court will ascertain whether or not the proposed change of custody is in the best interests of the child.

Retain a Suffolk County Joint Custody Lawyer

The first step you need to take in retaining a Suffolk county joint custody lawyer is to schedule what is known as an initial consultation. During this appointment, a Suffolk county joint custody attorney provides an evaluation of your case and provides answers to your questions. As a general rule, a custody lawyer in Suffolk county does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.