New York Joint Custody Lawyer

Oftentimes the most contentious aspects of the breakdown of a relationship are the issues related to the children such as child custody, visitation and the amount of child support. Because each family is different, each child custody case is different. In some instances even though the couple’s marriage or partnership is no longer viable, the couple maintains and cordial relationship with each other and are determined to make sure that each parents maintains a positive relationship with the children. In such cases the parents are typically able to work out parenting decisions amicably to that a joint custody arrangement is viable. In other cases the breakdown is contentious and the couple can barely stand to be in the same room as the other. When this happens, a joint custody arrangement would likely fail. If you are in need of a family lawyer because you are seeking to work out an agreement for joint custody, it is important that you contact an experienced New York joint custody lawyer who will help ensure that a reasonable custody agreement is put in place that is in the best interests of your children and that protects your rights.

Joint custody

With joint custody both parents have legal custody, of the child. Even though the child may live with just one of the parents, both parents are involved in child-rearing decisions such as with whom the child will live, medical and dental treatment, education, child care, religious education, and extra-curricular activities. Each parent must consult the other when making major decisions and the parents must agree.

In most cases parents have agreed to joint custody without going to court. If a couple cannot agree on the issue of custody so that it must be decided by a judge, it is doubtful that the judge will determine that parents will be able to successfully handle a joint custody arrangement.

For example, in the case of Florio v. Niven, 997 N.Y.S.2d 728 (N.Y. App. Div., 2014), the parents entered into an agreement for joint custody of their son. The agreement was conditioned on the parents consulting with each other and, if necessary, consulting with a parent coordinator, when making decisions concerning the child. It turned out that the parents could not make decisions together and each parent filed a petition for sole custody. Instead of awarded sole custody to either parent the judge ordered shared custody. The father would have decision-making authority regarding financial and educational matters and the mother would have decisions-making authority with regard to all other matters.

Other types of custody in New York

Sole custody. When one parent has sole custody, that parent has the legal authority to make decisions for the children including decisions about medical and dental treatment, education, child care, religious education, and extra-curricular activities. The parent with sole custody has the right to make such decisions with getting the consent of the other parent. Typically the non-custodial parent is awarded visitation with the child.

Shared custody. With shared custody the parents share legal custody. Each parent has specific responsibilities with respect to child-rearing. Both parents the right to make major decisions on an equal basis for their children.

When a court gives one parent sole custody, unless it is not in the best interests of the child, the other parent will be given visitation. Visitation is part of the custody arrangement that allows the non-custodial parents specific times when he or she will spent time with the child. For example, the court may allow the non-custodial parent to have visitation with the child every other weekend.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are involved in a custody case, it is important that you are represented by someone with experience. Custody cases can be complicated and contentious with the future of your child at stake. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully representing clients who have custody issues and who have other family law matters. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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