Westchester County Child Custody Lawyer
Who will your child live with when the divorce is finalized? What if you or the other parent wishes to relocate to another city or state after the divorce? Will the other parent be awarded visitation rights even if they are a dangerous presence to you and your child? A Westchester County child custody lawyer can answer these questions, and shed light on what the next few months may bring. The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. have helped countless families settle child custody disputes, and we are confident in our ability to help you and your child.
How is Child Custody Determined?
Many custody disputes can be settled between the two parents without the court system getting involved. However, if this is not possible, the court makes its decision based on what it believes are the child’s best interests; a parent’s preferences are not taken into account.
Legal Custody Vs. Physical Custody
The parent or parents with legal custody have the right to make choices about the major decisions in their child’s life, such as where they go to school, their religious upbringing, and their medical care. This is different from physical custody, which simply refers to where the child lives. The parent or parents with physical custody have day to day decision making rights about their child, and are responsible for care and supervision. Typically, if a parent has physical custody, they also have legal custody. However, a parent may have legal custody without having physical custody.
Two Types of Custody in New York
- Sole legal custody—Only one parent has sole decision making authority over their child’s religious upbringing, healthcare decisions, education, etc.
- Joint legal custody—Both parents have decision making rights about major decisions surrounding their child’s well being. One important condition about joint legal custody is that both parents are capable of communicating with one another to make informed and shared decisions about their child.
- Sole physical custody—The child lives primarily with this parent.
- Joint physical custody—The child lives equally with both parents.
A parent without physical custody or legal custody may be awarded visitation rights. During these court-ordered visitations, the custodial parent cannot intervene or without the child from the visiting parent. Doing so is a violation of a court order, and can jeopardize that parent’s custodial rights. Similarly, a parent with visitation rights must abide strictly by the time and place requirements of the visitation. Violations can result in a loss of visitation rights in the future.
Call a Westchester County Child Custody Lawyer Today
Divorce and separation can have a devastating impact on children. One of the best ways to reduce the stress of divorce is to work with an attorney and calmly negotiate with the other party to achieve your goals. We can help you throughout this difficult process by advocating for your and your child’s best interests, and arguing before the court—if that is what it comes to—to ensure that your rights are protected. Call The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. today at 845-735-1300 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Westchester County child custody attorneys.