Child Custody Attorney

In a divorce proceeding, conflicts between the spouses over child custody are far too common. The court, however, will make determinations that are in the best interest of the child. The law firm of Howard B. Leff, P.C. works with clients in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the five boroughs of Manhattan to obtain favorable outcomes in child custody matters after a trial or hearing.

Child Custody in a Divorce

In a divorce, there are a number of different custody arrangements/determinations, including sole, physical and legal, joint custody, shared custody, split custody, etc.

Physical custody - is a matter of determining which parent the children will live with. The court considers a number of factors, particularly which parent is deemed to be the most fit and who will better foster a relationship between the children and the other parent. Other considerations include how much time the children spend with each parent and how close the parents live to one another. In some cases, the wishes of the children will also be considered.

Legal custody - is the right of each parent to make decisions about the children's upbringing, including their education, religious practices, activities and medical care. Both parents are also responsible for the children's financial well-being and general welfare.

Joint Custody

The courts often grant physical and legal custody to both parents, provided that each party mutually agrees and each has the ability to fulfill their rights and responsibilities. When the court awards joint custody, it will be necessary for the parents to work out a schedule to share the child’s time. While the court may also determine a schedule, most divorcing couples who have the children's best interests at heart will make arrangements that alternate days, weeks or months or spending weekdays with one parent and weekends with the other parent.

Visitation Rights

If the court decides to award one parent sole legal (and physical) custody, reasonable visitation/parenting rights will usually be granted to the other parent. The parents must be able to cooperate and reach an agreement about visiting time. If they fail to reach or live up to an agreement, the court will impose a fixed schedule.

The law firm of Howard B. Leff, P.C. will review the parents' options with them, discuss the children's preference(s) and explain how state and local laws will affect their situation. Because these issues pose emotional challenges for both the spouses and the children, he will not only provide an objective approach that will help you reach an agreement that is beneficial for the entire family, he will treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve.

If you are considering a divorce in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the five  boroughs of Manhattan and have questions about child custody, call our office for a free evaluation at (516) 739-7500.

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