NYC Child Custody Attorneys
Distinguished Manhattan law firm protecting your child’s best interests
A divorce – splitting with the parent of your child – is a difficult and emotional event. When the issue of child custody is involved, most of the time each parent wants to spend as much time as possible with their child, and each parent wants an equal say in their child’s important life decisions. Meeting everyone’s needs while keeping your child’s best interests in mind can be challenging.
Often, however, what is in a child’s best interest is not so easily determined. Every family and every marriage is unique, which is why it is so important to have experienced legal representation on your side when children are involved.
The Manhattan divorce attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP are highly experienced in the area of child custody law and understand the emotions and stress behind these types of legal issues. Allow us to guide you through the process and advocate for your parental rights. Contact us today.
Who gets custody of the children in a New York divorce?
If you and your spouse are able to come to agreement regarding custody of your children in the event of a separation or divorce, you can outline these terms in a custody agreement. This contract should provide a detailed outline of you how major decisions are to be made for your child and the parenting access, including what holidays, birthdays, vacations and other events the children would spend with each parent.
However, if you and your spouse are unable to agree about custody, you may have to involve the court to help you resolve your custody dispute. Some couples may also find mediation or collaborative law helpful to work out conflicts. If you still cannot come to agreement, the courts will make a final custody ruling based solely on the best interests of the child. Today, many judges strive to award equitable joint custody when possible, to give each parent significant parenting time with their child.
The different types of child custody
New York City courts grant two types of custody – legal and residential. They are different in nature and will not necessarily both be awarded to one parent. Legal custody means making the major decisions about a child’s education, health and religion.
Residential custody pertains to the schedule of when the children will be with each parent. The parent who has the child with him or her more nights than the other will be the parent with primary residential custody. The court will dictate the parenting schedule based on the best interests of the child (or children).
Who pays child support if we have joint child custody?
Even in joint custody situations, one parent still has to pay child support, as laid out by the New York Child Support Standards Act. Typically, the non-primary custodial parent pays support to the primary custodial parent. In cases where there’s an even split of time between both parents, the parent with the higher income is generally considered the non-custodial parent for the purposes of child support. Your New York divorce attorney can explain more.
Can my NYC child custody order be changed or modified?
Your child custody order (as well as a child support or spousal maintenance order) can be changed. However, you must do it properly and legally. You may find, sometime down the road, that your child custody order no longer fits your or your child’s life circumstances. In cases like these, you may need to file for a child custody modification order. When you have a substantial change in life circumstances, consult with our lawyers at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP to find out the best options for your child.
Can my ex move out of the state with our child?
Depending on the terms of your child custody agreement, your ex-spouse may be in violation of your legal contract if they move out of state. Your divorce decree should have the terms of your custody agreement defined and, if one parent is planning a significant move, may need to be modified. If you or your ex-spouse want to relocate, contact your attorney as soon as possible.
Compassionate New York child custody lawyers
At Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, our family law attorneys can help you with a child custody agreement that protects your children and helps them thrive. We provide empathetic and strong representation across New York City, Westchester and the surrounding suburbs. Schedule a consultation today at 212-867-9123 or fill out our contact form.