Garden City Child Custody Attorney

A dad holds his daughter on his back

Child custody can be one of the most challenging issues to resolve for both divorcing couples and unmarried parents no longer in a relationship. At Aiello and DiFalco, our Garden City child custody attorney is here to help you find the best solution for your family. 

Our firm assists clients in drafting custody agreements and also handles contested custody matters involving complex issues like special needs children and domestic violence issues. We prefer to settle custody and parenting time cases, but we are well-prepared to litigate if necessary. 

Trust Aiello & DiFalco to protect your parental rights and put the interests of your children first. Contact us today for a consultation.

What are child custody and parenting time (visitation)?

In Garden City, like the rest of Long Island, child custody involves two main parts:

  • Physical Custody: This is about where your child lives. It also covers the rights of the other parent (the one your child doesn’t live with) to visit or spend time with your child.
  • Legal Custody: This is about who makes important decisions for your child. This includes choices about your child’s health, education, and general well-being.

Other terms used to refer to custody can sometimes lead to confusion, such as:

Sole Custody 

This refers to decision-making authority. Here, one parent makes all of the decisions for the child. However, the other parent may have parenting time or visitation and may also even need to be consulted or at least notified about major decisions. 

Joint Custody 

Joint custody also refers to decision-making. In this scenario, parents must consult and confer with each other regarding any important decisions affecting a child. If the parties cannot agree, they may need to work with professionals (e.g. doctor, teacher) to reach a decision. In some cases, one parent has final decision-making authority; in others, each parent may have a sphere of influence over specific decisions. 

Parenting Time/Visitation 

This refers to how the parents allocate physical custody. Typically, the child spends most of their time, especially overnights, with the primary residential or “custodial” parent. In cases where the parties agree to share custody, the parent have nearly equal parenting time and try to achieve 50/50 custody. 

Parenting time and visitation schedules can also be tailored to address:

  • Weekdays
  • Alternating weekends
  • Holidays
  • School releases

In amicable cases, joint legal custody with some form of liberal parenting time is the desired outcome. When custody becomes complicated and the parties cannot agree, our Garden City attorneys will advocate for your position and work to achieve the best result for your children.

Prioritizing Your Children’s Well-being

When it comes to deciding who your children will live with, the courts step in only if parents can’t agree. It’s important to understand that from the start, no parent is automatically favored — both mothers and fathers have equal chances.

The main goal of the courts is to look out for what’s best for your children. This means they consider many things before making a decision:

  • Children’s Needs: How well each parent can meet their physical, emotional, and social needs.
  • Parenting Skills: The ability of each parent to care for and raise the children.
  • Health of Parents: Both the mental and physical health of each parent.
  • Supporting Relationships: How willing each parent is to maintain and support a loving relationship between the children and the other parent.
  • Children’s Wishes: Depending on how old they are, what the children prefer can also be considered.
  • Safety Concerns: The court will look into any problems with domestic violence or substance abuse.

The focus is always on ensuring a safe, supportive, and loving environment for your children.

Can child custody be modified?

Yes, a child custody arrangement can be changed if there’s a significant shift in a parent’s circumstances. Here are some reasons why you might need to update the custody agreement:

  • Co-parenting Challenges: If working together as co-parents gets harder, it may be time to look at changing the arrangement.
  • Schedule Changes: If a new schedule would be better for the children, the custody order can be adjusted.
  • Moving: If the parent with custody needs to move to a new city or state for work, this can lead to a change.
  • Parenting Time Issues: If the custodial parent isn’t allowing the other parent their rightful time with the children, this could warrant a modification.
  • Safety Concerns: Any form of abuse or neglect, as well as issues with alcohol or drug abuse by a parent, are serious reasons for a change.

If there’s a significant change in circumstances, the court will need to see that any modification will benefit the children’s best interests. Our team of child custody lawyers in Garden City is here to help you gather and present your case effectively to the court.

How Our Child Custody Lawyers Can Support You

Navigating through child custody matters can be emotionally challenging and complex. Our main goal is to prioritize your children’s well-being while helping you find a practical solution for custody, visitation rights, and parenting time.

We aim to settle custody matters amicably without going to court. However, if it becomes necessary, we are fully prepared to represent you in custody hearings. Our experience includes handling intricate custody disputes, with some cases extending to over a hundred days in trial. We meticulously prepare for each case, offering strategic advice and representation grounded in a deep understanding of the specific issues you face.

Let us guide you through this process with the skill and sensitivity it requires, always keeping your children’s best interests at the forefront.

Talk To A Garden City Child Custody Attorney Today!

When you partner with us, you can be confident that we will protect your parental rights and help you preserve the bonds with your children. Contact us today to get started. We’re here to help.