Resolving Child Custody Issues

During divorce, there are few issues as critical as child custody. Indeed, when dealing with such matters, it is crucial that you do everything possible to help ensure that you and your spouse's separation does not adversely affect or traumatize your child. After all, the most important thing to consider during custody disputes is your child's best interest.

We can help. The attorneys at Rieger & Fried LLP have a proven track record at helping spouses devise effective, workable agreements in custody disputes. Serving throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County, we stand prepared to help you, too. Reach out to us to learn more.

Understanding The Different Forms Of Custody

When going through a custody dispute, you must first be able to recognize the different types of custody in New York. For instance, as its name implies, residential custody deals with where a child will actually live, while legal custody outlines which parent has the right to make important decisions in a child's life.

In many instances, parents may share legal custody ― making them joint custodial parents ― despite the fact that only one parent has residential custody. Even if one parent has primary residential custody, the other is typically entitled to parental visitation or parenting time so long as it is not detrimental to the child, such as when there is evidence of abuse or neglect.

Does The Court Always Decide Custody?

If parents are able to amicably work together to reach a custody arrangement, the court will likely not have to render its own decision. This can be accomplished in several ways, including through mediation services.

If the parents cannot agree, however, the court will have to determine child custody for them. When making this decision, the court will focus its attention on what is in the best interests of the child ― making sure to examine the child's physical and emotional needs as well as the parental fitness of each parent. Regardless of whether custody is determined through litigation or nonlitigation, the guiding principle is always the best interests of the child.

Can Custody Ever Change?

Similar to child support orders, a parent may be able to alter a child custody arrangement in certain situations. For example, a parent can request a modification to a custody order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the order was put in place. This process often involves a hearing and another determination regarding the child's best interests.

Child Custody Is Too Important To Leave To Just Any Attorney

Contact Rieger & Fried LLP today if you wish to speak to a knowledgeable child custody lawyer. We represent clients all over Long Island and the surrounding areas, including those living in Garden City and throughout Long Island. For an initial consultation, you can email the firm or call us at 516-712-2268.