Child Custody Disputes
Going through divorce is always an emotional experience, especially when it comes to child custody. When children are involved, it is most common and certainly understandable to have significant concerns about their parent-child relationships. With the stresses and anxieties that surround the breakdown of a marriage, you need a lawyer in your corner who will take the time to understand your family dynamic, gain an understanding about your concerns and goals, and explain your legal options to assist you in achieving your real goals.
At Quatela Chimeri PLLC, we take the time to dig deeper because we believe that only then can the attorney and client, working as a team, cut to the essence of your legal options. Who better to make informed decisions regarding your future, and the future of your children, than you?
Determining Child Custody
The best interests of your children is the dominant factor in how New York courts make child custody, parenting-time and visitation decisions. Presenting your case to demonstrate how the best interest standard applies in your case requires strategic, extensive and thoughtful preparation. Child custody matters involve two different prongs:
Legal custody refers to which parent will have the authority to make important decisions concerning the child. New York matrimonial law allows courts to award either sole legal custody or joint legal custody.
Similarly, physical, or residential custody, refers to where the child will primarily reside. Parents may share physical custody or one parent may be granted primary (or sole) custody, with the other parent having visitation rights. This is referred to as parenting time or parenting access, with the child.
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Assembling & Presenting Evidence in Your Favor
It is very risky to assume that a custody decision will go in your favor because of your history, income or parenting skills. As in all areas of a divorce, assembling evidence and cogently presenting facts in support of your desired outcome is often critical to obtaining the positive child custody and parenting time arrangement you want and deserve.
Our accomplished attorneys have successfully advocated for many mothers’ and fathers’ rights in custody matters. We have helped a wide range of divorcing parents win sole custody, secure joint custody and — when two parents believe they can work together amicably — work out a custody arrangement involving near-equal parenting time.
Child Custody and Visitation Plan Priorities
Giving up control and influence in your children’s daily lives is one of the most difficult outcomes for many divorcing parents. We have worked with many clients who were extremely concerned about the other parent’s behavior and its impact on the children.
Common concerns about the other parent include:
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Friends and associates who will be around the children
- Unsafe driving habits or other safety concerns
- Commitment to making sure children are fed and cared for properly
- Standards regarding age-appropriate entertainment, such as movies and video games
Clear Understanding of Ground Rules and Limits
We create very detailed child custody and visitation plans, so that both parties have a clear understanding of ground rules and limits. Our lawyers can help you form realistic expectations and create a plan that helps you have a greater peace of mind.
We work hard to help our clients settle custody disputes to maintain more control over the outcome, rather than place that decision in the hands of a judge. However, sometimes the opposing party is not willing to agree to a reasonable arrangement that serves the best interests of your children and your parental rights. If so, we will not hesitate to take the case to trial, and have substantial and successful experience before the local judges handling these disputes.