Long Island Lawyers Provide Assistance with Child Custody Disputes
Attorneys protecting the best interests of children in Suffolk and Nassau Counties and throughout Long Island
Under New York law, there are two key issues in child custody cases — who makes the important decisions about children (legal custody) and where children live after divorce (residential custody). Even when the courts grant joint custody, only one parent retains residential custody in many situations. With an overall goal of addressing the best needs of the children, the courts typically offer parents a choice of either entering into mediation to negotiate a child custody settlement or allowing a judge to make the decision. The skilled family law attorneys of Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP can help — whether through negotiation or litigation.
Shared custody is becoming more common. In this case, parents split time equally and no parent has residential custody. Although it is growing in popularity, we have already helped many families negotiate this kind of arrangement.
Despite the relatively recent passing of same-sex marriage in New York State, we also have seen a rise in divorce and child custody cases. If your same-sex marriage has not worked out, we can help you work out agreements regarding your children.
Many families include parents who are unmarried. We can negotiate for you and your children if a relationship ends between unmarried parents.
How NY courts decide child custody and visitation
When NY family court judges must decide custody issues, they take the following factors into account:
- Parent’s history of caring for the children
- Parenting skills of each parent
- Mental and physical health of each parent
- Any history of domestic violence
- Work schedules
- Relationships between siblings and other family members
- Preferences of children old enough to contribute to the decision
- Which parent is most capable of encouraging a relationship with the other parent when safety is not an issue
But these are guidelines, rather than hard and fast rules for deciding child custody issues in divorce. In rare cases, the courts may even find the best interests of the children dictate shared residential custody in addition to joint legal custody. For example, when parents demonstrate a strong interest in maintaining good communication — and the willingness to maintain residences in nearby locations— the courts may agree to provide parents with 50 percent shared custody.
The attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP understand the importance of developing child custody arrangements that permit parents to spend significant time with children after divorce. We work with our clients to help find creative solutions that benefit the entire family.
Seek support from an experienced Long Island child custody lawyer to protect the best interests of your children