Changes to Parental Rights in New York
Parental rights describe the legal relationship between the parent and the child. This relationship includes the parent’s right to custody, visitation, to financially support the child, and making major decisions for the child, such as medical, educational, and religious decisions.
There are two main types of custody: 1) Physical custody and 2) Legal custody. One parent may be given sole custody of the child, or if the court believes that it is in the child's best interest for the parents to share custody, the Court may award joint custody of the child to both parents. Parties are also free to agree to the terms of custody outside of court except in extraordinary circumstances.
A brief overview of custody is provided below:
- Physical custody: Physical custody means who the child is going to live with. That person is called the custodial parent. Physical custody can be given solely to one parent or the court, and or the parties can decide on joint physical custody. If the parties cannot agree, the issue before the court becomes what is in the child's best interest. Courts favor having one residential parent who is responsible for the everyday needs of the child. Joint physical custody is much more difficult to achieve and generally requires the parents to live in the same school district.
- Legal custody: Legal custody concerns making decisions concerning the child’s health, education, and welfare. The courts are much more liberal on granting joint legal custody. However, the judges are very fond of saying that joint legal custody only works where the parties can communicate in the child's best interest.
A parenting time arrangement in New York is one that establishes a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. This visitation schedule can be modified if a change in circumstances occurs or when the child's best interests are not being met.
How Do You File for a Modification to Parental Rights?
Either parent can ask for a modification of the existing custody agreement or order. To request the change, you must file a petition for modification with the Court. Your petition may be filed in either Supreme Court or Family Court depending on where the original custody order came from.
If there is no current custody order and the parties are not divorcing, you would file the petition in the Family Court in which you reside.
If both parents agree on a change to parental rights in New York, they may execute and file a Stipulation containing the details of the modification. In the case of an emergency where you need the judge to make the change quickly, such as a change in custody due to abuse or drug use, etc.., you will need to file an Emergency Order to Show Cause for temporary relief until a hearing for a permanent order can be scheduled.
Our team of experienced family law lawyers at the Law Offices of David L. Martin, Esq., P.C. will make sure that you file the appropriate paperwork to ensure a smooth experience and help you make these changes for your family.
Learn More About Your Parenting Rights in New York
At the Law Offices of David L. Martin, Esq., P.C., we have experience in all matters related to family law. In terms of parenting time and mothers' and fathers’ rights, we understand the legal process and how to negotiate a fair settlement that both parties can agree upon.
We offer free 30-minute legal consultations to learn more about your situation and discuss parental rights laws in New York. We have offices located in both Queens and Nassau County. To learn more about our legal services and to schedule this important legal consultation with an experienced New York family law attorney, call our legal team at (516) 294-8886 or (718) 520-8884 today.