Child custody is often the most contested issue in divorces and rightfully so. Where they will go to school, extracurricular activities, how they will be raised, and whom they will live with are commonly contested issues.
As child custody lawyers, we guide you through the complex legal system. In the ideal situation, you and the other parent can come to an agreement that is reasonable for all involved and meets the “best interest” requirements. We advocate for you to get the best possible situation for you and your kids.
The judge’s goal is to make a decision that provides the child with the optimal environment emotionally, financially, and educationally. When examining the case, the judge will review many factors to determine what offers the best combination of these factors. The judge will consider the following:
Who the child wants to live with.
The child’s ability to adjust to a new environment and school.
The bond between the child and each parent.
If either parent has a criminal history, like drug use or abuse.
The mental and physical health of each parent.
The willingness of each parent to maintain a substantial relationship with one another on behalf of the child.
The will of each parent.
Generally, any decision that will move the child out of state is not favored. When the court finally decides on a custody arrangement, it is not easily changed. Because of this, we do everything we can to get the parents to agree on an arrangement that would avoid the need to be seen by a judge. The Rubinstein Law Firm assists parents with determining custody decisions, outlining methods, and preparing documents to make a fair decision for both parents.
Hyper-advocates in these cases
We understand the anxiety and confusion that ensues during a custody proceeding. A contested custody proceeding is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, and it should be handled with compassion and fairness.
We are committed to our clients and their well-being and provide skilled representation.
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Will I get custody?
The court will base its custody decision applying the standard of what is in the best interests of the child, which there is no hard and fast rule or guideline to apply. In the large majority of cases, there will usually be some type of shared custody.
What’s the difference between physical and legal custody?
Legal custody is when there is a Court Order authorizing one parent to have custody or authorizing joint custody of the children. Physical custody is the practical non-judicial aspect of the child simply living with one parent. This has no legal or binding effect. The parent that spends more than half the time with the children is usually designated the primary custodial parent.
Could a judge ever change a joint custody order?
Custody orders in New York are always subject to change if there is a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if one parent starts using drugs or stops visiting and communicating with the child, a court might change legal custody from joint to sole legal custody.