Standing Up for Your Custody Rights
You always serve your interests best in a divorce by arriving at a mutually agreeable settlement for important issues like child custody. But, as the leading family law firm in Nassau, Queens and Suffolk Counties, we know that mutually agreeable may be a foreign concept to some contentious couples and that the case could end up in court.
New York family courts seek to focus on the best interests of the child. But in reality your fitness as a parent is evaluated by people who really don’t know you, your ex or your children. You’ve never needed an experienced and aggressive lawyer more.
Beyond the obvious red-flag issues such as mental illness, domestic violence or substance abuse, the court will evaluate a myriad of gray areas, including:
- Each parent’s ability to provide financially for the child’s basic needs
- The availability of a safe and stable home environment
- The flexible time each parent has to care for the children
To ferret out those seeking custody solely to avoid paying child support, the court will document who has been the children’s primary caregiver, who they’re living with now and for how long. The current custodian will have an edge, since judges tend to shy away from disrupting a child’s life.
The judge may seek input from an independent attorney for the child, also known as a law guardian, as well as from mental health and/or social work professionals. And older children will likely be asked about their own preferences for a custodial parent.
With all this input, your parental rights need to be defended by a dynamic and skilled attorney with a proven record of success in some of Long Island’s hardest-fought custody battles.