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Manhattan Child Custody Visitation Attorney

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Child custody and visitation matters are difficult experiences requiring skilled legal representation. The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark has the experience to put your goals and rights as a parent first and make sure that your children are protected.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark realize that your children are the most important part of your child custody and visitation matter. When you retain our Manhattan office for your child custody matter, we will provide you with the quality family law representation you deserve.

Our Manhattan divorce lawyers are:

  • Experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of child custody, child support, and visitation law;
  • Forthright and honest;
  • Punctual and dependable.

Let the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark represent you and your interests both in and out of the courtroom. Contact us in Manhattan today to schedule your confidential consultation.

A Manhattan Child Custody and Visitation Attorney Can Help

It is crucial to seek the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable child custody and visitation attorney like those at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark for your family law case. Child custody cases involve unexpected complications and significant life decisions about the welfare of your children. A skilled attorney can evaluate your situation and develop the best possible strategy for moving forward.

Additionally, a child custody and visitation attorney from the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark can do the following and more on your behalf:

  • Educate you regarding your legal rights and responsibilities;
  • Familiarize you with the factors the court considers when analyzing custody cases;
  • Answer your questions about child custody and visitation laws; and
  • Help identify your most pressing custody and visitation issues and present those to the court.

Get the results you desire for yourself and your children. Call the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark today and learn more about how we can help you achieve your child custody and visitation goals.

Child Custody and Visitation Laws in New York

New York favors neither the mother nor the father in child custody matters. The court looks instead to the best interests of the child on a case-by-case basis.

The factors considered by the court in child custody matters in New York include but are not limited to the following:

  • Which parent was the primary custodial parent in the past;
  • The financial resources of each parent;
  • The presence of siblings in the home; and
  • Which parent will most likely foster an ongoing and positive relationship with the other parent.

What is Child Custody in New York?

Custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding the child and where the child resides. When parents have joint legal custody, they make major decisions about the child together. When one parent has sole custody, that parent makes the major decisions regarding the child.

There are some court orders that split decision-making powers between parents. For example, one parent may make medical decisions about the child while the other may make educational decisions.

Physical custody refers to where the child lives and may be separate from legal custody. The child resides with the parent, who is the physical custodian. The other parent has visitation. Visitation schedules vary greatly. However, courts prefer schedules that divide the time as evenly as possible between parents.

It is rare that parents are limited access to their children. This is reserved for cases of abuse or neglect.

Mediation and Child Custody in New York

Child custody is almost always the most contentious part of a divorce. In most cases, both parents want as much time raising their children as possible, leading to disagreements about custody arrangements. At times this leads to such rancor that parents aren’t able to reach an agreement or even communicate civilly. In these cases, parents may wish to use a mediator to help them communicate effectively and determine a custody arrangement that puts the child’s best interests first and works as well as possible for each parent.

A mediator can present parents with a variety of custody schedules and guide negotiations until parents reach an agreement. Typically, both parents bring their lawyers to help oversee the paperwork and advise their clients during mediation.

Mediators often help parents reach a workable solution in order to keep their children’s custody arrangements between the parents rather than leaving it up to an impartial judge. A judge will simply sign off on a fair custody agreement that’s in the child’s best interests.

Common Custody Schedules for Co-Parenting in New York

In most cases, New York courts prefer parents share custody with as close to 50/50 as possible. To accomplish this, they suggest parents choose one of the following common custody schedules:

  • A 3-4-4-3 schedule sees children with one parent for 3 days and the other for 4 days in one week, then 4 days with the first parent and 3 days with the other parent the following week.
  • A 2-2-5-5 schedule sees children with one parent for 2 days, the other parent for 2 days, then 5 days with the first parent, followed by 5 days with the second parent in a continuous schedule.
  • An alternating weeks schedule sees children alternating full weeks with one week with one parent and then the following week with the other. This schedule works well for older children and teenagers who can go for longer periods away from one parent and thrive with fewer transitions and interruptions to school and activity schedules.

In some cases, one parent has sole physical custody and the non-custodial parent has visitation every other weekend and at least one weeknight for after school through dinner. If a non-custodial parent has a history of abuse, neglect, or addiction, the court may require supervised visits only.
Most parents use a separate schedule for holidays and birthdays so these special dates are divided fairly.

Does a Parent Still Pay Child Support in 50/50 Custody Agreements?

Even in 50/50 custody schedules, the parent with the higher income must pay child support according to the New York Child Support Standards Act. In cases of evenly split custody, the parent with the higher income becomes the non-custodial parent for purposes of child support payment only.

Can Parents Revise a Custody Agreement That no Longer Works?

If problems arise with a custody schedule, either parent may file a petition to alter the custody schedule. The petitioning parent must show the court how the change would be in the child’s best interest. In cases where a parent seeks to change the primary physical custody of a child, the parent must prove a significant change in circumstances since the original order and show how altering the schedule benefits the child. It’s important to note that a parent with physical custody of a child cannot move far enough away that it would impact the other parent’s visitation without the other parent’s permission.

Attorney Vivien I. Stark can assist parents with petitions to alter their original custody agreement.

Contact an Experienced Manhattan Child Visitation Attorney

If you want to learn more about child custody and visitation in Manhattan or have another family law matter you would like to discuss, call the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark. We will gladly meet with you and answer your questions and address your concerns about any Manhattan family law issue.

At the Law Offices of Vivien I. Stark, we work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for both you and your child. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced child custody attorneys.

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