Suffolk County Custody
In Suffolk County, the Family Court presides over Family Law cases such as those centering on Child Support, involving Child Custody, negotiating Visitation, or handling an Order of Protection or alleged Abuse or Neglect. The Suffolk County Family Court holds legal authority to decide all such cases involving your family and your children. And your Suffolk County Child Custody Lawyer will appreciate that an issue of Child Custody can very well be the toughest one you face if you are separating from or contemplating a divorce from your child’s other parent. For some peace of mind, you can prepare by reading this information, prepared by a skilled Suffolk County Child Custody Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC.
First, some basic information: The main location of the Suffolk County Family Court is in Central Islip at 400 Carleton Avenue (phone number 631-853-4289). A facility is also maintained in Riverhead, NY, at 889 East Main St, Suite 308 (phone number 631-852-3905). Whether you go to Central Islip or the Riverhead location will depend on your own location, as well as that of other parties involved in the case. The hours of operation are Hours of operation are each weekday (Mon through Fri) from 9 am to 5 pm. The Family Court is closed on weekends and on holidays.
The next thing that’s important to understand is the way that a decision will be reached in your case. In Suffolk County and all through New York state—in the suburbs of Nassau County and in the heart of Manhattan—your Child Custody case will be decided on the basis of one issue: what outcome would be in the best interest of your child/children? We understand that this might seem fairly vague as a legal standard. However, please realize a Suffolk County Family Court Judge will in fact examine certain specific attributes of your family’s life as he or she works to reach a decision. The judge starts, for instance, with taking into account which parent has acted as the child’s primary caregiver. They will analyze which of the two parents mostly handles daily care—everyday needs including getting dressed, visiting dentists or doctors, getting to school, having a bath or a meal, having help with homework.
In more complex cases, the Family Court Judge can request further input, which is done by appointing a Law Guardian. The person in the role of Law Guardian is a Suffolk County Family Attorney, and they will take on the representation of your child during your custody case. How does this work? The Law Guardian interviews your child (or your children), and based on that interview will prepare and present an opinion to the Family Court about which of the two parents would better be deemed the Custodial parent.
Lastly, you need to understand the different types of custody arrangements which can be handed down by the Suffolk County Family Court Judge. They are:
Physical Custody, or Residential Custody. This basic form of Child Custody indicates where the primary residence of the child will be. The parent who is awarded this custodial type has, consequently, the authority for making choices about the daily routine in the child’s home—what or when they might eat, when the homework is done, and what time will be bedtime.
Joint Custody - is also commonly known as Shared Custody: When parents hold Joint Custody, the result is that both hold equal decision-making power with respect to the care of their child. Together the parents make the major decisions impacting their child’s life—and it does not matter which of them holds physical/ residential custody of the child or children.
Full Custody. As the most comprehensive custodial form, Full Custody grants you sole authority in making any decision impacting your child. This is all-encompassing, to include choices about the child’s primary residence and schooling, the child’s doctors, the child’s faith or religion.
Each Suffolk County Child Custody Lawyer in the offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC is aware that a variety of additional factors may arise and maybe even surprise you during your Custody case. We know that it’s possible for the Court to examine your background or the background of your child’s other parent, or to bring into consideration the wishes expressed by your child. We help those in either Family Court or Divorce cases in Supreme Court with child custody. We will help handle these issues to guide you to the outcome that’s appropriate in your unique situation. Call 800.696.9529 now and we’ll provide you free advice in an initial consultation, and there’s no further obligation. You can set up a conference in our New York City offices, which are in each borough from Manhattan to Brooklyn and neighboring Queens, from Richmond County (Staten Island) to up in the Bronx. You can, of course, come to our Suffolk County office on Long Island, to our Nassau County office, or also to our Westchester County office.