New York City Custody Lawyer

The Family Court in New York City hears matters involving families and children, with authority over the legal decisions in the following kinds of cases: Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation, Orders of Protection, post divorce modifications and also Abuse and Neglect. A New York City Child Custody Lawyer should be able to explain to you Child Custody is generally the single most difficult issue that couples who are separating must resolve. That is why a Child Custody Lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has taken the time to provide you with some basic information on Child Custody cases in New York.

The New York City Family Court is at 60 Lafayette Street in lower Manhattan, found between Franklin Street and Leonard Street. It is open Mondays through Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with night court sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Petitions are accepted for filing up to 6:45 p.m.

There are parking lots and parking garages in the surrounding area, and street parking that is extremely limited. We recommend traveling by public transportation:

Subway: Take the 4 train or 5 train to Brooklyn Bridge; take the C, N, R, or 6 to Canal St.; or take the 1 to Franklin St.

Bus: 1, 6 or 15

The legal standard in New York for determining Child Custody, whether you’re in Queens or up in Westchester County—is what’s in the best interests of the child. While that possibly seems to be an ambiguous standard, there are some specific indicators that the Family Court Judge evaluates when he or she makes a decision with regard to Child Custody. But before considering those specifics, it’s first important to understand the three types of Child Custody that are available in New York State.

Full custody: A parent who possesses full custody has the right to make all decisions with regard to care including the child’s residence, education, and welfare. This includes the choice of school the child will attend, the doctors seen by the child, and even the religion in which the child will be raised. This is just a sampling of the power of decision-making the parent with Full Custody will have.

Physical Custody: Any New York City Child Custody Lawyer will tell you that Physical Custody is the most basic type of Child Custody. Sometimes referred to as Residential Custody, it is the type of custody simply denotes where the child will live as his/her primary residence. The parent that possesses Physical custody can make all decisions with regard to the daily routines of the child. These include what the child eats, what time is bedtime, along with when homework is done.

Joint Custody (Shared Custody): This is when both parents have equal decision making power in all major decisions in the child’s life, regardless of which parent has residential custody.

As mentioned previously, the legal standard for determining Custody is what is in the best interest of the child. There are several factors a New York City Family Court Judge will consider when determining a Child Custody issue. The first area the court will analyze is who is the primary caregiver? What the Court is trying to determine is who is responsible for the daily care of the child. Who meets the child most basic needs? Examples of this are: helping with homework, taking the child to the doctor, feeding the child, dressing the child, waking the child for school, and bathing the child.

The Family Court Judge will use these factors to determine the primary caregiver. Another resource the Court has in a child custody case is to appoint a Law Guardian. A Law Guardian is a New York City Family Lawyer that is appointed by the Family court judge to represent the child/children’s interests in the child custody case. The Law Guardian will interview the child/children as well as make a recommendation to the Court as to whom, in the opinion of the Law guardian, should serve as Custodial parent.

There are additional factors that can be considered by the court as well, including but not limited to the background of the parent, the possibility of relocation, and the wishes of the child. That is why the Law Office of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC offers a free and no-obligation consultation with a New York City Child Custody Lawyer. Call us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) today. We have offices conveniently located throughout the New York City area, from each borough of the city to Long Island—both in Suffolk County and also in Nassau County. Meet with us in Manhattan, in Queens, on Staten Island, in the Bronx, or in Brooklyn. And, if it’s easier for you, you can also arrange to meet with us in our location in Westchester County.

1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)