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Visitation Rights and Parenting Time Lawyer in New York City

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If you have children with your spouse or partner or you are a non-parent with child visitation rights in New York, you must have a visitation plan in place before the court can enforce your rights. Child custody and visitation are separate actions in New York, but they can be determined at the same court hearing.

Regardless of your parental status, acquiring and enforcing your visitation rights can be a challenge. That is why you need an experienced New York City visitation lawyer to help you through the process.

The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., offers compassionate legal guidance from a New York City visitation lawyer who:

  • Has over thirty years of family law experience;
  • Is successful and skilled in all areas of family law negotiations, mediation, and litigation;
  • Is recognized by AVVO as a top contributor; and
  • Has superb ratings as a New York divorce lawyer.

Contact Attorney Stark for more information regarding New York’s visitation rights and parenting time plans. Your consultation is confidential.

How a New York Visitation Rights and Parenting Time Lawyer Can Help

If you are concerned about your legal rights to child visitation, the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark can help. Attorney Stark will stand by you throughout your parenting time case and ensure you understand how New York’s child visitation laws directly impact you and your unique situation.

Attorney Stark will also:

  • Promptly return your calls and texts;
  • Keep you updated on case activity;
  • Work with you to create customized, realistic visitation and child exchange options;
  • Negotiate or mediate a parenting plan with the other parent or their attorney that includes designated responsibilities during visitation time; or
  • Present a logical, well-constructed case for visitation before the court.

Learn more about Attorney Stark and her approach to visitation rights and common visitation challenges by reaching out to her in New York City.

Determining Child Custody and Visitation in New York City

The New York family courts look to the child’s best interest when determining child custody and visitation. The best interest of any child is unique to that child and dependent on their age, mental and physical capabilities, and their parents, among other things.

For example, young children have shorter visitation schedules than teenagers as frequent contact with both parents is more important in the formative years. Parents who have issues with substance abuse may be limited to short, supervised visits with any children until more extended visits are appropriate.

When two parents are equally fit but disagree on who should have legal and primary physical custody of a child, the court must choose. In these situations, each parent must present a case as to why it is in the child’s best interest to be under their legal and physical care alone, with the other parent receiving only visitation rights.

Child Custody in New York City Divorces

New York City law divides matters of child custody into two separate types: Physical and Legal custody. Physical custody or primary placement refers to where the child lives. The parent without physical custody is the secondary placement parent or the one with visitation rights. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions for the child such as medical decisions and decisions about education. This decision-making authority may be separate from the physical custody of a child. There are two types of legal custody courts consider in New York City child custody cases:

  • Sole legal custody is when only one parent holds the right to make important legal decisions for a child though the other parent has the right to remain informed about these medical and educational decisions, they don’t have the right to weigh in on them.
  • Joint legal custody is when both parents have the right to make legal decisions for a child. Joint legal custody is only a workable option when parents remain able to communicate freely and civilly with each other.

When deciding on the physical and legal custody of children, the court can assign a schedule for custody and visitation or can simply sign off on a pre-made schedule both parents agree upon.

How are Agreed Visitation Plans Beneficial to Parents?

Most state courts prefer shared custody arrangements unless a parent is deemed unfit. While such rulings are well-meant, mandated schedules and their accompanying rules do not always work for the parents and children who must abide by them.

Visitation lawyers work with couples to reach agreed custody and visitation plans whenever possible. There are several structured and open-ended visitation arrangements available to parents who can communicate with one another.

Can Mediation Help Parents Come to a Custody Agreement?

New York City offers many options for mediation for divorcing spouses including mediation to assist co-parents to agree on a custody arrangement that’s in the best interests of their child and workable for both parties These services are voluntary and confidential. For cases already in court, a judge may make a referral for mediation. Mediators have years of experience in New York custody laws and schedules and may be able to suggest workable solutions co-parents didn’t consider.

If you hope to try mediation to reach a custody agreement before going to court it’s highly advisable to take an attorney like Vivien I. Stark with you to advise you during mediation and to read over any agreement with an experienced eye before you sign.

Common Custody Arrangements in New York City

A visitation schedule spells out custody and visitation arrangements for co-parenting. These schedules include details about the time spent with each parent on weekdays, weekends, and holidays. Couples with babies or very young children typically exchange children more frequently than older children, since it’s more difficult for young children to be away from one parent for longer periods, whereas it’s easier for older children to enjoy longer stays with each parent so there are fewer disruptions to their schooling and scheduled activities.

Common custody Arrangements in New York City include the following schedules:

  • The 2-2-5-5 schedule alternates children with each parent for 2 days with one, then 2 days with the other, then 5 days with one, and five days with the other.
  • The 3-4-4-3 schedule alternates children with one parent for 3 days and then 4 days with the other. Then the following week they spend 4 days with the first parent followed by 3 days with the other.
  • The alternating weeks schedule works well for older children and allows them to alternate full weeks with each parent every other week.
  • In cases where one parent has sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent typically has the children every other weekend plus dinner/evening visits one night per week.

In cases of neglect, abuse, or addiction, non-custodial parents may require supervised visits only.

What are Visitation Rights in New York City?

Unless the court decides otherwise, legal parents are entitled to visitation with their child. The only time a custodial parent may deny or interfere with court-ordered visitation is when that visit may endanger the child.

When the custodial parent makes visitation difficult or impossible, the non-custodial parent does not have the right to take matters into their own hands. The only way to enforce visitation rights is to work with a New York City visitation attorney who will present your case to the courts.

Experienced New York City Visitation Attorney

If you are having trouble understanding or enforcing your visitation rights, contact the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., today. Attorney Stark is available to assist you in determining your best course of action to secure visitation rights or even pursue child custody.

Attorney Stark has the experience needed to prepare an initial visitation agreement or modify your existing agreement through negotiations, mediation, or before the court. She effectively serves all five boroughs of New York City and the surrounding communities.

When your visitation rights are on the line, you need the help of a legal professional. Contact the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., today.

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