Child Custody & Visitation

Child custody establishes the legal relationship between the caregiver and the child, and can stem from various scenarios, such as parents facing a divorce proceeding, a child protective proceeding, when unmarried parents choose to separate; family member or a long term caregiver; and by equitable estoppel.  Child custody proceedings can be litigated or mediated, and child custody orders can be temporary, permanent, and modified.

Custody has two components:

Legal Custody:   The right to make major decisions for the child, such as education, medical, religion, and other various matters related to a child’s welfare.

Residential or Physical Custody: where the child will live. 

There are various types of custody, most common are:

Joint Custody:parents have a cooperative relationship and share major decision making responsibilities for the child, and physical custody of the child.

Sole Custody: only one parent has both legal and physical custody of the child.

This firm has significant experience in child custody proceedings either in litigation and/or mediation.  Parents may agree between themselves to determine their child’s custody, but when parents differ on how to obtain a “best interest” result, then litigation may be necessary.  If litigation is necessary, the courts determine custody for the child is by a legal standard referred to as the child’s “best interests.”  This firm will explain your rights and obligations as a parent. Also, this firm will explain the law and the reality of your situation.

Child custody is determined by the particular circumstances of the family.

  • Who has been the child’s primary caregiver, primary nurturer of the child?

  • What are the children’s ages? Older children can be consulted about their custody.  

  • What is the child’s relationship to their siblings, and other family members?

  • Do the parents cooperate with each other, and encourage the other parent’s relationship with the child, if safe and appropriate?

  • What is the parent’s availability to care for the child, such as work schedules?

  • What is the mental and physical health of each parent?

  • Is domestic violence involved in the family?

  • Is there Equitable Estoppel?  Did the person appear to the child and others as the child’s parent?

Contact this firm today, if you need an immediate consultation, call our office at 646.792.2186, or clink the link below to email us.