Family Law

Child Custody – Understanding the Legal Landscape

When you are involved in a divorce or separation, child custody matters are often among the most complicated and confusing issues for both parties. Because these proceedings can be so complex and emotional, it is imperative that you have an experienced family law attorney on your side. A skilled attorney will be able to navigate the complexities of New York’s Family Court system and secure an arrangement that will work best for both parents and their children.

Legal Custody: Understanding the Legal Landscape

There are two main types of custody: joint legal custody and sole legal custody. In a joint legal custody situation, both parents share the right to make important decisions regarding their child’s education and health care. When one parent has sole legal custody, the other parent may have access to information about the child but does not have the right to make major decisions about the child’s care.

Physical Custody: Understanding the Legal Landscape

In most cases, courts prefer that children spend a significant amount of time with both parents. They are also willing to grant visitation rights to the noncustodial parent unless there is an exceptional reason for not doing so.

The primary factor that a judge will consider when making a decision about physical custody is the “best interests” of the child. This means that the judge will look at a variety of factors, including the child’s health, social life and emotional development.

Another deciding factor is the parents’ finances. If one parent has a job that allows them to provide a decent living situation for the child, it is more likely that they will have custody of the child.

However, if a parent is struggling to meet their financial obligations due to unemployment or other challenges, it is more difficult for them to obtain custody of the child. In these situations, the courts will look at a parent’s past income and other factors to determine how much support they should be paying.

In some cases, the amount of support will be based on how much time the child spends with each parent. The parent with custody will typically pay more child support than the other parent, so it is essential to understand this factor when negotiating a custody agreement.

A skilled Miami divorce & family attorney can help you negotiate your child custody arrangements without having to go to court. The most effective way to reach an agreement is through mediation, but if that does not resolve your issues, your attorney can fight for the best possible outcome in family court.

During mediation, the mediator will ask both parents for their input on how they feel the custody order should be structured. Then, the mediator will try to develop a solution that is acceptable to both sides. This can be very helpful in reducing stress and facilitating communication between the parents.

If the mediator cannot find a solution that meets both parties’ needs, the court will then rule on whether or not there is a violation of the custody agreement and what sanctions will be imposed. These sanctions can include fines, jail time or modified visitation arrangements.