Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

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 a cordial relationship with each other and are determined to make sure that each parent maintains a positive relationship with the children. In such cases the parents are typically able to work out parenting decisions amicably so 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 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 many cases parents agree 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.

Other Types of Custody in New York

Sole custody. Sole custody grants one parent the legal authority to make critical decisions concerning the child's life. This includes important aspects such as medical and dental treatment, education, child care arrangements, religious education, and participation in extracurricular activities. The parent with sole custody holds the right to make these decisions independently, without requiring the consent of the other parent. In such cases, the non-custodial parent is usually awarded scheduled visitation with the child, ensuring their continued relationship and involvement in the child's life. Courts typically looks to see if joint custody is possible before considering sole custody. To learn more about joint custody vs. sole custody, contact an experienced New York joint custody lawyer

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. 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 awarding 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.

Visitation. 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. It's important for both custodial and non-custodial parents to adhere to the visitation schedule. Consistency in following the agreed-upon visitation plan is essential for the child's stability and helps in building trust and predictability in their routine.

In certain circumstances, the court may order supervised visitation to guarantee the child's safety and well-being during interactions with the non-custodial parent. This arrangement involves visits occurring in the presence of a neutral third party or within a designated secure location, providing a safeguarded environment for the child.

While visitation is typically a right of the non-custodial parent, there are instances when it may be denied. Denial of visitation usually occurs due to concerns about the child's safety, parental substance abuse, or other factors that could harm the child's well-being. However, denying visitation is a serious matter and requires legal justification. If a custodial parent believes that denying visitation is necessary, seeking legal counsel is imperative to navigate the legal process and ensure compliance with the law.

Understanding your rights and responsibilities regarding visitation is crucial in maintaining a strong parent-child relationship post-separation. Seeking guidance from a skilled joint custody attorney in New York is advised to navigate the legal aspects of visitation effectively, ensuring that the child's best interests are always at the forefront of the custody arrangement.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you're considering joint custody in New York, understanding the intricacies of this legal arrangement is paramount. Recognizing the types of joint custody, its legal implications, the steps involved in the legal process, and the crucial factors that influence custody determination is key to making informed decisions for your child's future. If you find yourself contemplating joint custody or facing challenges in pursuing it, consulting with an experienced joint custody attorney serving New York is essential. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, our dedicated team is committed to providing expert legal guidance and support, ensuring the best interests of your child are prioritized throughout the legal proceedings. Reach out to us today for a consultation, and let us assist you in navigating this crucial legal journey. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Suffolk County, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin