Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer Serving the Bronx
Divorce can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. When a couple has children, one of the most commonly contested areas of divorce can be child custody and visitation decisions. Determining child support, child custody, and visitation can be difficult. Many parents feel a significant amount of stress regarding this area of their divorce decrees.
Whether you are going through a divorce and facing child custody issues or need to modify an existing child custody order, attorney Jayson Lutzky is here to help. To protect your parental rights and ensure that your child’s best interests are the guiding factor in your child custody arrangement, we recommend reaching out to the Law Offices of Jayson Lutzky today. We are ready to provide parents with the trusted representation they need in child custody matters.
How is Child Custody Decided in New York?
There are two main types of child custody — physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody means which parent has the legal rights to decide about the child’s education, health care, religion, and welfare. Physical custody involves which parent the child lives with. Family court judges have the discretion to award joint custody, primary or sole custody, or order another type of custody arrangement. Judges can also award visitation to the parent who does not have primary physical custody.
Sometimes people assume that judges prefer to give mothers child custody. This is not the case anymore. Under New York law, judges should try to enable both parents to participate in raising their children actively. Every case is different, and family court judges are required to consider multiple factors when deciding on a child custody order, including the following:
- Each parents income
- Each parent’s health
- The overall health and well-being of the child
- Each parent’s ability to obtain and keep insurance
- The geographic location of the parents
- Ability to keep and obtain insurance
- Relationships between the child and parent
- The health, educational, and other needs of the child
- If there is any history of drug use or domestic abuse
- Which parent the child prefers to live with
Sole vs. Joint Custody in New York
Sole custody occurs when one parent has full custody rights and responsibilities over the child. A parent in New York can have sole legal custody, sole physical custody, or both. Typically when a parent has sole physical custody, they will have sole legal custody, but not always. Most family court judges award joint custody, when possible. In this situation, parents share the responsibilities of raising their children. New York parents can have joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or both.
What is the Criteria for an Unfit Parent in New York?
In most cases, judges will issue a child custody order that allows both parents to share spending time with their children. However, if a child will be unsafe with one of the parents, a judge might decide not to award that parent physical or legal custody. If you have a reason to believe that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is unfit to be a guardian to your child or children, attorney Jayson Lutzky can help you raise your concern in court and work toward pursuing sole custody of your child. New York courts will consider the following when they evaluate a parent’s fitness, or lack of fitness to be a guardian:
- Any history of abuse of the spouse or children
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- The parent’s physical health
- Any history of neglect, such as failing to feed, wash, and keep the child clothed
- The ability to provide the child with basic medical care, education, and necessities
- The parent’s mental health
Attorney Jayson Lutzky will thoroughly evaluate your case to determine if there is room to pursue sole custody based on your spouse’s ineptitude to act as a proper guardian.
Will the Child be Able to Choose Which Parent to Live With?
When a child is age 12 or older, they may have a chance to state their preferences as to where they would rather live. A family court judge may take into consideration an expert, such as a mediator or family therapist’s findings when deciding on a custody arrangement. However, judges are not required to create a custody arrangement that is in line with what the child wants. Judges consider the child’s best interest, which may align with what the child wants, but this is not always the case.
I am Concerned My Ex Will Win Custody of Our Kids, What Should I Do?
If you were concerned that the judge will automatically give custody rights to your ex-spouse, your concern is understandable. It is important to remember that family courts are concerned with what they consider to be the child’s best interest, based on multiple factors. When they decide which parent should be their children’s primary custodian, they will not simply award custody to the mother or to the parent who makes more money.
Judges will consider a wide range of factors that affect the mental and physical health of the child, as well as their physical needs. Working with an attorney from the beginning of your decision to file for divorce is essential. An attorney can provide you with powerful advocacy during your child custody hearings to ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.
How a Bronx Child Custody Attorney Can Help You
Working with an experienced child custody attorney can help you make wise decisions for your family and child. Attorney Jayson Lutzky will carefully review your case and ensure that your rights are being represented during the process.
He fights hard for a favorable outcome for his clients. Once a child custody agreement has been reached, he will help you and your spouse reach an acceptable resolution regarding child visitation and support. Working with a child custody attorney in the Bronx can help you protect your and your child’s rights. Do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Jayson Lutzky today to schedule your initial consultation.
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