Knowledgeable and Compassionate New York City Child Custody Attorneys for You and Your Family

Divorces are oftentimes challenging, especially when there are children involved. One of the most important questions that will arise is who should have custody of the children? Or more simply put, who should be the primary caregiver for the children?

Our New York City child custody attorneys are here to assist you in that process to make sure your rights as a parent are being respected and that you understand the situation and the challenges you may be faced with. We represent parents and guardians in their child custody matters throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including the lower Hudson Valley, the five boroughs—Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island—, and both counties in Long Island—Nassau and Suffolk. With the vast amount of collective family law experience throughout our firm, Tully Rinckey brings both the dedication and compassion necessary to your situation in seeking child custody rights for children of all ages.

When you retain our services, you can expect competent lawyers who will work with you to create solutions so that you can continue to raise your children while protecting them from the conflict at play. Our New York City child custody attorneys understand what matters most when issues of custody are before the court. We will listen to your goals and assist in presenting you to the court in the best light possible.

Different Types of Child Custody and Understanding Child Custody Laws in Manhattan, NY

In New York, physical custody is also referred to as residential custody and relates to where the children spend most of their time, in other words, who the children will live with. This is in contrast to legal custody, which refers to making key life decisions, including schooling, religious affiliation, and medical care for the children’s lives. While similar in importance, knowing the difference between the different types of custody—legal and residential—is the first step to establishing custody for your children.

Physical and legal custody can be joint, sole, or a hybrid of both, depending on a variety of factors. Typically, when physical custody is not shared, the parent who does not have “primary physical custody” (commonly referred to as the non-custodial parent) will be granted court-ordered visitation or parenting time with the child, barring any concerns over the child’s well-being.

How Does Child Support Work?

Typically, when one parent has sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent will be responsible for making child support payments. These payments help the custodial parent with providing shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities for their children.

However, this is not to say that when custody is shared that there would automatically not be any payments necessary, since there are many key factors at play when determining the responsibility of each parent to provide for their child. Unfortunately, many co-parents are not aware of this and do not believe that support laws will apply to them should custody be split.

To learn more about the nature of child support laws in New York State, visit our New York City child support webpage.

Can My Child Custody Order Be Modified?

To amend an existing custody or visitation order, you must file a petition to modify (change) the order in the courthouse where it was originally issued. In order for a court to amend your custody or visitation order, you must show that your circumstances have changed significantly since the final order was reached and that your proposed modification is in the best interests of your child.
To start the process of altering your existing custody order, you would need to fill out the forms for a “Petition for Modification of an Order of Custody/Visitation.” These forms can be found in the courthouse or filled out online through the NY Courts webpage.

Can My Ex Move Out of New York With Our Child?

Your ex-spouse cannot move out of the area with your child if there are court-ordered visitation privileges in New York. For either parent to move out of state with the child in this situation where visitation is ordered in the state of New York, there would need to be approval from the Courts.
If you are facing a situation where your ex-spouse is planning to, or has relocated with your child, an attorney could petition the courts to either prevent your ex from moving with your child or order that the child be brought back to your county should there be a lack of consent. It is also important to review any court documents to see if there were any stipulations agreed upon where your ex-spouse could relocate with the child.

Child Custody vs Child Visitation

In some parenting plans, one parent may have primary physical custody of the child. With that in mind, it is important to understand that most problems tend to arise between parents regarding visitation and parenting schedules. By working with a knowledgeable child custody attorney who understands and upholds your legal rights as a parent, you can rest assured that you will be guided into developing a healthy parenting/visitation schedule that will maintain stability and security for your children.

In New York, What Factors Generally Determine Which Parent is Awarded Custody?

The courts will always prioritize what is in the best interest of the child when deciding custody matters. Listed below are a few of the factors that courts will consider when making their decisions:

  • How each parent has handled parental duty in the past.
  • How successfully a parent addresses their child’s physical and emotional needs.
  • The child’s relationship with his or her parents.
  • Each parent’s physical and mental wellbeing, including whether or not one of them has a dangerous addiction and/or mental health issues.
  • Any instances of abuse or neglect between the parents and/or including the kid.
  • If the child is of an appropriate age and maturity level, the child’s preference.

Why Choose Tully Rinckey for your Child Custody Case?

Custody matters are complex, and with your relationship with your children at stake, it is best not to go it alone. Our attorneys have multiple years of experience assisting families with their specific family law matters; so, you can rest assured that we have seen cases similar to yours and can give you the guidance needed to realize your goals.

Our attorneys have practiced in many of New York City’s Family Courts, including those in the five boroughs—Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island—, Long Island, and Hudson Valley. With a team of attorneys located across New York State and access to online consultations and booking, we can assist you at any time and bill at lower rates than competing firms.

We will be with you at every step of the way and can assist at any stage of the child custody proceedings. We act aggressively in your best interest and will position you in the best possible light before the courts.

Our New York City Child Custody Attorneys are Available to Assist you Today

If you are experiencing, or have concerns about, a child custody issue, contact us today. Because of the importance of your child’s needs, it is critical to contact one of our child custody attorneys as early as possible. Our child custody attorneys routinely assist families throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Long Island, the five boroughs, and the lower Hudson Valley.

To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our experienced team, contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 8885294543 or

You can also use our secure Live Chat feature to connect with us regarding your matter. Your message will be delivered to a secured firm account with a member from our team ready to assist you.

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