Sometimes, parents do not have equal custody of their child or children. This may result from their schedules, their locations, or it may result from a decision regarding who would be the best parent to take care of the child or children provided that the parents have separated. The Administration for Child Services (ACS) can help coordinate visitation, report an abusive or neglectful parent to the court and can work with the Family Court to determine appropriate custody and visitation.

In a Family Court case reported in the New York Law Journal on March 13, 2015, ACS filed a petition in court. The agency claimed that the father neglected his daughter—he committed acts of domestic violence against her mother and violated an order of protection. As a consequence, the court ordered temporary supervised visitation only. The girl’s grandmother had to supervise the visits, which were eight hours each Saturday. After some time, the father wanted to change the visitation schedule so that the visit included an overnight stay. This would involve changing a court order, so other parties were allowed to provide information to the court. ACS thought it would be okay to have supervised overnight visits, but the mother’s attorney and the attorney for the child opposed the increased visitation. The court decided to grant the father the additional visitation, even though it seemed the child was uncomfortable with overnight visits. The court justified its decision claiming that it was following policies and guidelines. The guidelines permit supervised visits if successive supervised daytime visits have been successful. Also, the attorney for the child did not provide any evidence that the supervised overnight visits put the child at risk.

Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx attorney who has over 30 years of experience and who handles family court cases in the New York City area. He represents parents and divorcing parties in cases regarding alimony or spousal maintenance, child visitation, child support and child custody. If you are considering starting a family court case or if you have been served papers about a new case, then be sure to contact a lawyer. Mr. Lutzky offers free in person consultations. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment and visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer to learn more about Mr. Lutzky.