Westchester County Child Custody Attorney: (914) 840-5104
Let Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP Protect Your Best Interests
Issues concerning child custody and visitation are among the most emotional and difficult. Your case is too important not to have a Westchester County family law attorney on your side. The primary factor that guides all New York Family Courts throughout any custody and visitation case is the best interests of the child.
Keeping this in mind, the family court lawyers at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP are committed to also protecting your rights as a parent or grandparent. To accomplish this we will focus on the facts of your specific circumstances and tailor the case to accomplish your goals. Devising a workable solution tailored to your particular needs is always our objective. Your welfare is our priority.
We use our 65 years of combined experience to represent clients involved in:
- Parental custody and visitation
- Modification of custody and visitation orders
- Grandparent custody and visitation
What Are the Different Types of Child Custody?
There are different types of custody in New York. They are as follows:
- Joint Legal Custody - this means that both parents have an equal voice in their child's life when major issues regarding the health, education and general welfare of the child need to be made. In other words, the parents must consult each other and agree on these issues.
- Sole Legal Custody - this means that only one parent decides all issues regarding the health, education and general welfare of their child. In other words, the other parent has no "voice" in the decisions and does not have to be consulted.
Understanding Physical Custody
Physical Custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives with on a day-to-day basis. For example, if the child's parents have "Joint legal custody" the parent with whom the child primarily resides is the custodial parent. In other words, that parent has "physical custody". In situations where one parent has "sole legal custody" that parent will also have physical custody. There also exists the concept of "shared custody" which is a situation where a child resides in both parents homes on an equal or near equal basis.
What Factors Will the Court Use in Determining Custody and Visitation?
The primary factor that the court is guided by is the best interests of the child. The parents' interests are secondary at best.
Important factors in Child Custody and Visitation Cases in determining the best interests of the child include:
- The effect of that separating siblings may have on the children;
- The wishes of the child, if the child is old enough;
- The length of time the present custody arrangement has continued;
- Abduction or abandonment of the child;
- The violation of an agreement or court order by one of the parents;
- The relative stability of the respective parents;
- The care and affection shown to the child by the parents;
- The atmosphere in the homes;
- The ability and availability of the parents;
- The morality of the parents;
- The prospective educational probabilities;
- The possible effect of a custodial change on the children;
- The financial standing of the parents;
- The parents' past conduct;
- The refusal of a parent to permit visitation and/or the willingness of a parent to encourage visitation;
- Domestic Violence;
- Unauthorized relocation of the parent and child to a distant domicile; and
- Making unfounded accusations of child abuse.
Often, it is how these different factors are intertwined that will determine how child custody will be awarded. New York family and divorce Courts must weigh and balance these factors in determining the "totality of the circumstances" before making any custody decision that is in the best interests of the child.
Types of Visitation
There are several different types of visitation that the non-custodial parent will have with their children. Visitation is also commonly referred to as "parenting time" or "parental access".
The main types are as follows:
- Unsupervised Visitation
- Supervised Visitation
- Therapeutic Supervised Visitation
Handling a Wide Range of Legal Matters Throughout New York State
Whether your child custody and visitation case is being handled in a Family Court, a Supreme Court in a divorce action or through some form of alternative dispute resolution, our experienced child custody and child visitation lawyers are dedicated to providing you with personalized attention focused on your individual needs and rights.
Our White Plains custody and visitation lawyers regularly represent clients throughout the Family Courts of:
- Westchester County
- Bronx County
- Putnam County
- Dutchess County
- Rockland County
- Orange County
Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation Today - (914) 840-5104
As part of our commitment to providing excellent legal representation to all of our clients, whether they are a new client, existing client or returning client, our Westchester County custody and visitation lawyers provide free initial legal consultations.
If you are a parent or grandparent seeking custody or visitation with your child or grandchild you should consult with an experienced New York custody and visitation lawyer.
We are here to protect your rights. Contact Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP online or by telephone at (914) 840-5104 to speak with an experienced custody attorney.