If you are a parent going through a divorce, child custody issues can be very stressful. One of the most important issues for divorcing couples is often the future living arrangements for their child.
A dedicated family attorney from Tully Rinckey PLLC can listen to your concerns, outline your options, and offer suggestions regarding what actions to take going forward. In the process, they can also help with:
Preparing custody agreements to submit to the court
Representing your interests during hearings and trial
In a legal context, child custody covers the care and raising of children produced by a marriage or children of an unmarried union that has since ended. In all scenarios and at all stages of the process, the standard the courts consider when deciding custody is the “best interests of the child.”
Physical custody determines where the child will reside most of the time. If one parent is granted physical custody, the court typically grants the child’s other parent a schedule of parenting time with the child. The parent who has primary physical custody is called the “custodial parent,” and the parent with a visitation or parental access schedule is called the “noncustodial parent.”
Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions on behalf of the child, such as education, medical decisions, religious upbringing, and extracurricular involvement. Legal custody is usually shared jointly between a child’s parents and, barring extenuating circumstances such as domestic violence, that would make such an arrangement interfere with the child’s best interests.
Custody and Divorce Proceedings
For married couples, custody matters are usually settled during divorce proceedings. For unmarried parents or married couples who are separated but not ready to divorce, a family court judge can review and hear all available information and witnesses and issue an order based on the best interests of the child.
Mediation has become a popular tool for parents who disagree on custody issues. A specially trained mediator meets with the parents and facilitates conversations as a neutral party with the goal of attaining an agreement. Alternatively, you should seek counsel and negotiating expertise from a seasoned child custody lawyer in Rochester. In any event, a knowledgeable custody attorney can guide you through the process.
Additional Issues for Consideration
Courts consider various factors related to both parents when determining what is in the best interests of a child. These include but are not limited to:
Capacity and availability to care for their child
Job situation and available time to devote to caring for the child
Financial and domestic stability
The child’s relationship with each parent
Suitability of living arrangements
Geographic proximity to school, friends, etc.
The child’s wishes, if age-appropriate
In certain cases, New York Domestic Relations Law §240 and Family Court Act §71 and §72 allow grandparents—as well as others who have a close relationship with the child—to petition for visitation rights. At a family court hearing, the parties can offer evidence to demonstrate that visitation is in the child’s best interests and that denying visitation would be detrimental to the child.
Child Custody Modification and Enforcement
Child custody orders in Rochester are often subject to modification. To be successful in achieving such a modification, you must prove a significant and material change in your circumstances—or those of the child’s other parent—that renders it in the child’s best interest to change the terms of the order or affects your ability to care for the child. Common examples include a significant change in work schedules or the loss of a job.
If a parent violates the terms of the custody order, such as refusing to return the child at the end of a scheduled visitation, the other parent may institute proceedings for custody enforcement. The violator could be charged with contempt of court or possibly face kidnapping charges under Article 135 of New York Penal Law.
Custody issues are complicated and emotional, but one of our experienced Rochester child custody lawyers can help you understand the options available to you and reach a custody agreement that works for you and your child. Call the Rochester office of Tully Rinckey PLLC today at 8885294543 or email email@example.com to set up an initial consultation and get started on your case.
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Let me begin with my continued respect and heartfelt thanks for all you did for me when a simple divorce spiraled out of control. As wounded as I was, I was painfully aware of the emotional toll the litigation was taking on you too. It was that empathy, accompanied by your phenomenal legal skills that kept me together during what was perhaps the most traumatic chapter of my life. I hope I am able to convey an impression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.
I retained Tully Rinckey PLLC for a child support modification, which became necessary following domestic violence incidents, my own disability as a result, and my children's increased needs. Tully Rinckey PLLC is professional, proactive and, most importantly, does not suffer fools. They focused on the legal arguments of the case and applied appellate decisions which were directly related. Most importantly to me, they took my case personally. As one who has seen many people promised the sun, moon and stars by attorneys who then treat them as a number, Tully Rinckey PLLC was invested in my case from the beginning. They were able to go directly to the heart of the matter without needing to destroy the other party. They kept the focus on my children's needs and, when the other party refused to settle and hired an attorney, Tully Rinckey PLLC went into overdrive making sure my children would get a fair hearing of the facts in court. They kept the main thing the main thing and her arguments on point. They also ensured that my disability accommodations were honored and was sensitive to the needs my disability created, which was incredibly important for my testimony. I have already recommended Tully Rinckey PLLC several times and will continue to do so.
I was represented by Ryan McCall in both custody and support matters. Ryan did an excellent job in both, and we were successful in both. I would highly recommend to anyone in need of great representation to contact Tully Rinckey and speak to Ryan McCall.
Thank you it was a pleasure doing business with you. Honestly, you made this experience painless. Much appreciated happy customer.
I would like to thank you for the wonderful job Tully Rinckey PLLC did on my behalf. In an unusual circumstance where the custody of my daughter changed for a period of 6 months because of Hurricane Irene, they managed to get the entire case dismissed.
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