Child Custody

Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer 

When a person goes through a divorce proceeding, there is a lot to deal with, both legally and on an emotional level. This is particularly true in cases where children are involved. A compassionate Manhattan child custody lawyer can be a vital ally in the fight to obtain fair terms for how the kids will be raised after the divorce is finalized. Compassion, combined with professionalism, is what clients find when they come to Guilford Law Group, PLLC. 

We serve both the English and Spanish-speaking communities throughout New York City, and extending into Rockland County and Westchester County. Call today at (646) 783-0074 or contact us online to set up a consultation.  

Physical Custody in the State of New York

Child custody encompasses several aspects of parenting. Physical custody refers to the decision on where the child will live. The general rule for physical custody is that judges prefer to see time equally split between the parents. But not every situation is the same and there are several good reasons for one parent to have primary physical custody. 

Existing living arrangements are one factor. Children may benefit from being able to stay in the same house they’ve been living in. If one parent is going to keep the house is part of the , that can have ripple effects on custody decisions. If one parent lives significantly closer to where the child goes to school, it may be decided that it’s better off for that parent to have primary custody. 

Legal Custody Issues 

Parenting involves much more than the roof over the child’s head, and so do child custody matters. Parenting also means the authority and responsibility to make decisions about significant aspects of a child’s life. 

Will the child have a religious upbringing? If so, what faith will they be receiving instruction? The authority to make that decision is covered under legal custody. Will the children go to private school? If so, which one? To make the decision means the parent must have legal custody. Does a doctor recommend certain medical treatments for the child? Legal custody covers the authority of the parent to weight the doctor’s advice and determine what is best for their child. 

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What's Best for the Child?

These factors underscore an important law in the state of New York—the one factor that overrides all else in custody decisions is the best interests of the child. This applies even if both spouses are responsible and capable parents. If primary custody is seen as being in the child’s best interests, then that is the deciding factor. However, it should be noted that any parent who wants primary custody does have the burden of proving why that meets the child’s best interests. 

There are also unfortunate cases where one parent might be considered unfit, for reasons ranging from substance abuse to domestic violence to a general irresponsibility. A Manhattan child custody attorney can advise parents on the best way to handle dealing with this sensitive issue in either negotiations or in court. 

Visitation Schedule Questions

Visitation schedules must also be worked out. Even if the parents shared custody equally, there are still issues like who gets the kids for major holidays and summer breaks, and what can be done in regards to vacation. The more questions that get addressed up front in the original settlement, the less potential there is for conflict down the line. 

Contact Guilford Law Group, PLLC by calling the office at (646) 783-0074 or via our online contact form today. 

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