At Aiello & DiFalco LLP, we help clients in New York City resolve the most challenging child custody and parenting time cases. While many child custody disputes can and should be resolved amicably, we are always prepared to litigate to achieve a positive outcome.
We regularly draft custody agreements involving complicated schedules as well as 50/50 parenting time and also handle contested custody matters that sometimes involve complicated issues such as special needs children, domestic violence, and other abuse. Above all, we will put the best interests of your children first. Contact our New York City child custody attorney today.
What are child custody and visitation?
Custody is the legal responsibility for a child’s care – there are two aspects of custody in New York City:
- Legal custody refers to decision-making authority on matters such as education and healthcare, religion and extracurricular activities
- Physical custody or residential custody concerns where the child will live and the parenting time schedule (“visitation”) for each parent
Other custody-related terms can sometimes lead to confusion. For example:
- Sole custody generally refers to decision-making authority where one parent assumes all decision-making responsibilities for the child. However, this doesn’t automatically exclude the other parent from parenting time or visitation; they may still be consulted or at least notified about significant decisions.
- Joint custody also refers to decision-making, but parents with joint custody must consult with each other on any major decisions affecting a child. If the parents cannot agree, they may need to consult with relevant professionals like a doctor or teacher to find a solution. In some cases, one parent has final decision-making authority; in others, the parents each have a sphere of influence over certain decisions.
- Parenting time or visitation refers to how the parties distribute physical custody. The child predominantly spends their time, notably overnights, with the residential parent, often referred to as the primary custodial parent. Sometimes, the parties mutually agree to share custody with equal or almost equal parenting time to achieve parity. In any event, schedules for parenting time and visitation must consider weekdays, alternate weekends, holidays, and school breaks – all adaptable to your family’s unique needs.
The most common outcome in amicable cases is joint legal custody with ample parenting time. When the parties cannot agree, our New York City child custody attorneys will advocate for your position in court and help achieve the best outcome for your children.
How Child Custody Determinations Are Made in New York City
If the parties cannot agree on child custody and parenting time, the courts will make a determination and work in the children’s best interests. Factors involved in the court’s determination include:
- The children’s physical, emotional, and social needs
- Each parent’s ability to care for the children
- Each parent’s mental and physical health
- Each party’s willingness to encourage a close relationship between the children and the other parent
- The children’s preferences, depending on their age
- Issues of domestic violence or substance abuse, if any
Trust the child custody attorneys at Aiello and DiFalco to protect your parental rights and the well-being of your children. Although we prefer to resolve child custody arrangements without court intervention, we have the skills and experience to represent you in a custody hearing if necessary.
Modifying Child Custody Arrangements in New York City
Child custody orders can be modified if either parent experiences a significant change in circumstances, such as:
- Changes in decision-making based on a breakdown in the relationship
- Modifications to the parenting time schedule based on new developments
- The custodial parent’s relocation to another city or state for employment purposes
- The custodial parent’s refusal to make the child available for parenting time
- A deterioration in either party’s ability to co-parent
- Abuse or neglect by either parent
- Substance abuse by either parent
Once a parent demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances, the court will determine whether a modification is in the children’s best interests. Let our New York City child custody attorneys guide you through the process of modifying a child custody order.
Why Choose Aiello & DiFalco?
We understand the challenges of reaching co-parenting arrangements and the emotional toll that can come with child custody disputes. Trust us to prioritize your children’s best interests, assisting you in reaching a practical agreement regarding primary custody, visitation rights, and parenting time.
While we typically prefer to settle child custody cases outside of court, we’re also adept at representing our clients in custody hearings when required. We have a proven track record, having handled intricate custody cases that extended over a hundred trial days.
For each custody trial, we prepare meticulously and offer informed representation, grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the relevant issues. Above all, we are committed to finding innovative solutions and helping you preserve your bonds with your children.
Talk To An Experienced New York City Child Custody Attorney Today!
Child custody can become a contentious issue, but it need not be that way as long as you have proper legal representation. That’s where Aiello & DiFalco comes in. You can depend on our child custody attorneys to treat you with dignity and compassion and work in the best interests of your children. Contact us today for a consultation.