Child Custody Litigation Attorney

Howard B. Leff is no stranger to the emotional upheaval and devastation that can occur during a divorce, especially when there are children, and where the issue of custody is involved. In cases when child custody is a point of contention between spouses, parents can often have a number of fears and concerns, ranging from apprehension about spending time with their child on someone else’s terms, to concern that they may not be able to see their child at all.  These fears and concerns can be addressed and the chances of success in these cases significantly increased by the representation of a lawyer seasoned in child custody cases, such as Nassau County, New York attorney Howard B. Leff.

There are various types of custody arrangements available to parents in New York State.  “Legal custody” often refers to the right of parents to make decisions for the child.  Physical custody more often than not refers to the party with whom a child will reside.  Joint custody usually allows both parents to be involved in important parenting decisions regarding such things as education and medical care. It also allows for less important decisions to be made by the parent that is responsible for the child’s care at the time.  Sole custody only allows for one parent to make important decisions.  The parent who does not have physical custody of a child is usually entitled to visitation, now referred to as “parenting time.”

Child custody issues are not always easily resolved.  While the courts allow parents to use alternative dispute resolution or to make independent decisions about the custody of their child, some are unable to do so, leading to contested child custody litigation.  In such a case, the courts must become involved in a custody determination.  If the child custody issue is the result of a divorce matter that is pending in the New York State Supreme Court, that court has the authority to handle the determination.  If no matter is pending, child custody matters are decided by the Family Court.  If a child custody matter needs to be litigated, the court will appoint an Attorney for the Child to protect the child’s interests during the proceedings.  Howard B. Leff is extremely experienced in litigating child custody cases in the Supreme and Family Courts, as well as working with Attorneys for the Child.

Custody matters are decided using the best interests of the child standard.  This standard is very vague and can include a variety of factors to be considered by the court.  Some of these factors include:

• Which parent has primarily cared for the child thus far
• If the parent has the skills necessary to care for the child
• The age and health of the parents
• The financial ability of the parents
• Domestic violence and child abuse or neglect
• The child’s preference 
• The parent’s ability to further a relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent

The factors considered by the court are unique to each case and the judge in each case is allowed to consider any factor he or she believes is appropriate in determining child custody.  One limitation on this discretion is that the courts cannot place a child with a parent who presents a substantial risk of harm to the child.

If you are currently involved in a child custody dispute, or about to become involved in such a case, it is crucial that you seek the representation of a veteran family law attorney.  Howard B. Leff has decades of experience in this area of matrimonial law and is compassionate, meticulous and constantly available to his clients.  Call Nassau County, New York child custody litigation attorney Howard B. Leff at (516)739-7500 for a consultation today.


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Howard B. Leff, P.C. serves clients throughout Long Island, NY including Nassau County and Suffolk County, as well as Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Westchester.

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