If you are dealing with the issue of custody of minor children in Nassau County, New York, your case will either be heard in the Family Court or the Supreme Court.
Basically, both Courts do the same thing. They deal with issues of custody, support, abuse and neglect, adoptions, etc… The only big difference is that you can only get divorced in State Supreme Court.
The first question is, does the custody issue arise from a pending divorce or from a situation where a child was born out of wedlock or the parties have separated and do not plan to divorce.
If the parties are divorcing, the issue of custody will be dealt with as part of the divorce proceeding. If you have a custody issue that is not part of a divorce action, you would file a Petition in the Nassau County Family Court.
It is always better for the parties to attempt to negotiate a settlement of the issue of custody before you proceed to Court.
There are two types of custody in the State of New York. The first is physical or residential custody. This means who the child is going to live with and who will be having parenting time away from the custodial parent. The second is legal custody. Legal custody deals with issues involving the health, education, and welfare of the child. The non-custodial parent, i.e. the one that the child does not live with should always demand joint legal custody. This ensures that you will be an active part of your child’s upbringing. The Courts are very found of saying that joint legal custody only works where the parties have an ability to communicate in the best interest of the child.
Now let’s assume that the parties are unable to work out these issues, concerning their child on their own and proceed to Court. What should they expect? Before a Court creates a child custody Order that dictates which of the parents the children will live with and/or decides the parenting time issue, it must answer one question. That question is, what is in the best interest of the child? Some factors the Court will consider when it comes to the best interest of the child include:
- “Which parent has been the main caregiver/nurturer of the child.”
- Which parent has the financial ability to care for the child’s economic needs
- “The parenting skills of each parent, their strengths and weaknesses and their ability to provide for the child’s special needs, if any exist.”
- “The mental and physical health of the parents.”
- Whether there have beendomestic violence incidents in the family.
- “Work schedules and child care plans of each parent.”
- The child’s relationships with their brothers, sisters, and other members of their family.
- “What the child wants, depending on the age of the child.”
- “Each parent’s ability to cooperate with the other parent and to encourage a relationship with the other parent, when it is safe to do so.”
Although New York Courts do encourage both parents having a meaningful relationship with their children, there are times when the Court is provided with evidence that indicates a parent should not be awarded custody of their child and/or should be restricted in their parental access. In the event your child’s other parent has gathered up evidence to present to the Court in an attempt to convince the Court that the other parent should not be awarded custody/parenting time, you are going to want to speak with an experienced Nassau County, New York child custody/parenting time lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney, such as those at The Law Offices of David L. Martin, Esq., P.C., can assist you with challenging the evidence and convincing the Court of your position.
As tough and disturbing as it might be for you to have to spend time away from your children, remember, you do have rights as a parent and our Nassau County, New York child custody/parenting time attorneys are available to help you exercise them.
Getting a Child Custody Order Modified in Nassau County, New York
In the event the other parent has been previously awarded residential custody of your children, and you believe, based on substantial changed circumstances that is no longer in your children’s best interest to continue to reside with that parent, you can challenge the existing custody status in Court. You have to prove not only substantial changed circumstances since the prior Order of custody/parenting time, but you will also have to prove that it would be in the best interest of the children to live with you. You are going to want to hire an experienced child custody/parenting time law firm in Nassau County, New York who has 32 years of experience with these matters. That is why you want to hire The Law Offices of David L. Martin, Esq., P.C. , so that you get someone with the experience and know how to win your case.
If you would like to learn more about the process you would be required to take in order to gain custody of your children or modify an existing parenting time/custody Order, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation. Our skilled lawyers would be more than happy to assess your current situation and explain what needs to be done so that you are awarded custody/visitation rights.
The Law Offices of David L. Martin, Esq., P.C. is located at:
1415 Kellum Place, Suite 205
Garden City, NY 11430