New York City Child Custody Lawyer
Money issues are a chief cause of divorce and the breakup of relationships. However, once a separation or divorce action begins, parents quickly find child custody takes precedence. Parents struggle with a variety of child custody issues, from how their children are reared and where they will attend school to where their children will primarily reside.
At the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., our New York City child custody lawyer understands parental custody struggles and will guide you through the complexities of the family court system. Our firm advocates for parent-child relationships that are healthy and whole. Such relationships are in the best interest of you and your children.
- Handles child custody matters with compassion and fairness;
- Has more than thirty years of experience as a New York City child custody attorney; and
- Is recognized as a top contributor and custody attorney by AVVO.
Let the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., work to eliminate the legal anxiety and confusion accompanying your custody proceeding. Reach out to her today in New York City to schedule a confidential consultation.
How an Experienced New York City Child Custody Attorney Can Help
In a perfect world, you and your co-parent will be able to work out a child custody and visitation agreement with minimal conflict. One that meets both of your needs and the family court’s stringent “best interest” requirements.
However, child custody decisions are among the most contentious matters in family court proceedings and are best made with the assistance of a legal professional. Attorney Vivien I. Stark will aggressively assert your custody position regardless of the setting. She is highly experienced in all areas of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and trial litigation.
Your child custody case will be handled correctly and efficiently from day one at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. We will build a trial-ready custody case and:
- Prepare, file, and manage all of your legal and court documents;
- Negotiate child custody and support with opposing counsel or your co-parent;
- Suggest and create child custody schedules to fit your needs and those of your children;
- Finalize and prepare any agreements or court orders; and
- Take your case to trial if necessary.
Do not wait to start your child custody case. Learn how New York’s child custody laws affect you and your family and plan for your future by calling Attorney Stark today.
What is Child Custody in New York City?
Child custody is the legal right to make decisions regarding a child’s welfare and residence. There are multiple types of child custody in New York.
- Legal custody;
- Physical custody;
- Joint custody; and
- Sole custody.
Parents may hold sole or joint (shared) legal and physical custody or some combination of the two. Further explanation is offered below.
Legal Child Custody in New York City
The parent with legal custody of a child is responsible for making all of the major decisions in that child’s life.
These include but are not limited to:
- Medical and surgical care;
- Religious upbringing;
- Education and schooling; and
- Primary residence.
Parents may agree to share legal custody of a child. This works best when parents can cooperate, communicate, and co-parent effectively. Otherwise, parents may need the assistance of the court when a significant issue arises.
Physical Child Custody in New York City
Physical child custody refers to a child’s primary residence. Parents can have joint physical custody meaning the child lives with each parent for an equal amount of time, or one parent can have sole physical custody.
In sole physical custody, the child lives with one parent more than half of the time. The other parent has visitation.
How Child Custody is Determined in New York City
The State of New York, like most other states, makes child custody decisions according to the child’s best interest. A judge’s goal is to provide a child with the most stable environment possible emotionally, financially, and educationally. When examining a case, a judge reviews many factors in making their determination, including the following:
- Who the child wants to live with;
- The will of each parent;
- The child’s ability to adjust to a new environment and school;
- If either parent has a criminal history, like drug use or abuse;
- The mental and physical health of each parent;
- The bond between the child and each parent; and
- The willingness of each parent to maintain a substantial relationship with one another on behalf of the child.
The financial state of each parent is not heavily considered, though their ability to support the child is.
Parents who have proven drug or alcohol abusers or who physically abused or neglected a child will have great difficulty obtaining legal custody of a child. The court may rule that a parent undergo counseling or treatment to gain visitation rights.
In New York, parties seeking a no-fault divorce must resolve all of their issues, including custody and parenting time matters, before the court will issue a divorce order. The court typically examines agreed custody arrangements before granting a divorce.
It is better for parents to agree on their custody arrangements as court-ordered custody plans are difficult to change.
Child Support in New York City
Once a child custody plan is in place, the court will address child support. Child support calculations take the following and more into account:
- Both parents’ incomes;
- The number of overnights each parent spends with the child;
- The child’s healthcare costs; and
- Daycare expenses.
With limited exceptions, the parent who spends less than 50% of overnights with a child is ordered to pay support to the other parent. Child support ceases when a child reaches twenty-one, is married, self-supporting, or in the military.
Contact an Experienced New York City Child Support Lawyer Today
If you need an experienced child custody lawyer in New York City, contact the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. Attorney Stark represents parents in all manner of child custody actions, including:
- Legal Separation;
- Order Modifications;
- Termination of Rights; and
Not only is Attorney Stark committed to her clients and their well-being, and she is also a skilled and aggressive advocate for their legal rights.
The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark works with parents of children with special needs. We realize accommodations are necessary to meet the custody and support requirements of these families.
If you are going through a divorce and struggling to make difficult custody decisions, contact us online or call us at (212) 349-1600 to schedule an in-office or telephone consultation.