New York Family Law Cases: Custody and Visitation

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Families in New York face custody battles and considerations with visitation for the other parent due to divorce and separation with spouses. The best interests of the child are important and what are sought in these situations so that he or she has a loving and nurturing environment with visitation from the parent without primary custody.

Custody cases usually provide visitation options and rights to the parent that does not receive full custody. The parent with primary custody of the child usually works out an arrangement with the other parent. However, if there is a legal battle over these processes, the judge may decide what possible options are available to him or her. Through considering past and current behavior of the mother or father, the courts may decide which is better fit to raise and give the most nurturing environment. The youth needs attention and someone dependable that will not travel constantly. Even in the fast-paced world of New York, parents need to bring stability.

No Predetermined Parent

While many states favor the mother in child custody, New York has the Domestic Relations Law 70 that specifies that no parent is favored in custody arrangements over the other. The courts decide which person is better and will ensure the best interests of the child. It is important to present the best case to the judge or him or her to decide based on how well the parent connects and nurtures the youth affected by the divorce. The monetary situation may improve chances of custody, but who may help raise the young person best may win out in these circumstances. However, the judge may review all material for a better match.

Because the best interests of the child are what matter the most, it is possible for nonparents to seek custody. However, these individuals must have extraordinary circumstances attached to the pursuit. However, if these do exist in the family such as with abandonment, neglect that is persistent, unfit parents and surrender of the child, then a nonparent may obtain custody. Then, there is the difference between physical and legal custody of any youths. Where the young person lives primarily in his or her daily routine is physical custody. For legal custody to occur, the parent must have legal authority in decision making with the child. When custody arrangements are part of the program, visitation is the next step.

Joint or Sole Custody

When the parents have joint custody, both have the legal authority to make decisions for the child. It does not deal with the amount of time the child visits either parent. However, this joint custody may permit both to have equal opportunity in a role to rear, educate and apply various decisions for the youth affected. This does also include absolute veto power over decisions of the other parent involved. This could lead to a deadlock where some decisions cannot occur with both parents. Because of these circumstances, joint custody arrangements are rare and often not awarded to both parents that take an active role in the child’s life.

There are instances of temporary custody arrangements before trial in New York. These are often only necessary until a judgement declares which party will have primary custody rights. Once the final order issues these needs, the temporary custody is no longer in effect. The best interest of the child is what matters most in this state to determine what parent has the rights of visitation and which should retain the primary right of custody. Each case has consideration through unique factors and details, so they are often dissimilar in general. Factors considered may include the total circumstances, age of each parent, any use of drugs or alcohol, availability of the mother and father, disability, existing arrangements and abuse.

For both visitation and custody, the judge will need to decide where the best interests of the child lie. If the father is around more and the mother is abusive, the youth may only have visitation with the mother. However, when the father drinks heavily or uses drugs, he may only retain visiting rights occasionally. If the mother is much younger than the father and in a precarious position, she may lose primary custody.

Legal Help with Visitation in New York

So that visitation is possible and may increase in duration and times each month, it is important to hire a New York lawyer after or during divorce proceedings. The legal professional will assist in increasing the chances of his or her client.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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