Child Custody Attorneys in Hudson Valley
Beacon Child Custody Lawyers - Your Aggressive Advocates in Dutchess County, New York
Custody disputes are stressful and emotionally charged. If you are involved in a custody dispute in Dutchess County, it is important to understand New York custody laws. The Hudson Valley child custody lawyers at Letterio & Haug, LLP have nearly two decades of combined experience and an extensive knowledge of divorce and child custody laws to effectively advocate for you in court.
If you are involved in a child custody dispute in Dutchess County, contact our firm in Beacon, NY, to learn how New York custody law applies to your situation.
New York Custody Laws
In New York, courts can make decisions about child custody until that child is 18 years old. New York Courts use the standard of the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. The courts may take a variety of factors into consideration when awarding custody.
Factors considered by New York Courts include:
- The ability of each parent to care for the child
- The mental and physical well-being of each parent
- Work schedules
- The ability of parents to cooperate
- Any history of domestic violence
- The child’s wishes, depending on their age
Note that one parent does not have advantage over the other in custody decisions in New York. The child can remain living with either parent until the case goes to court, and an order has been issued. As always, the orders will be made based on the child's best interests.
Each family situation is unique, and our Hudson Valley child custody attorneys provide personalized representation for each client. We are aggressive advocates for our clients. We take the time to understand your situation and provide compassionate and empathetic legal representation that is tailored to your circumstances.
Filing for Child Custody in NY
A parent, grandparent or a person with a substantial relationship with the child may file a petition for custody with the family court in the county where the child resides. It is free to file a petition with the New York family court. Once the petition has been filed, a copy of the petition and a summons must be served to whoever currently has custody of the child.
Types of Custody in NY
There are two basic types of custody: Legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make decisions regarding the child’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing. Physical custody is where the child will live. Sole custody is when custody is awarded to one parent. In joint custody, the parents share custody of the children.
Legal Custody Versus Physical Custody
A parent who has legal custody can make decisions for the child’s care. This can include the child’s education, medical needs, and religion. Should the court issue a joint legal custody arrangement, both parents can make these decisions. If the courts issue “sole legal custody,” then only one parent is permitted to make these decisions.
This is a different arrangement from physical custody, which is also called “residential custody.” In this scenario, the child lives with the parent who has physical custody. Sole physical custody means that the child will live with that parent more than 50% of the time, and the other parent may have visitation rights. In a joint physical custody arrangement, the child lives with both parents. One example is when the child lives with one parent for a week, and then live with the other parent the next week, and so forth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Get Custody of a Child?
How Do I Prepare for a Custody Hearing?
- Show that you are responsible and involved: If you have a temporary custody order in place, make sure you stick to it and avoid skipping scheduled visitation. Show you are reliable and responsible by picking up and dropping off your children on time. Additionally, if your children partake in afterschool activities, attend them to show you are engaged in their lives.
- Make sure your home is safe and supportive: The home environment you provide for your children must be safe, loving, and supportive. If other individuals frequently visit your home, vet them. Anyone with a felony or a history of drug use should not be invited into your home. It would also be unwise to invite a new romantic partner to live with you or spend the night until after your divorce is finalized.
- Exhibit good character: Showcasing good character is also crucial in a child custody case. Arguing with your ex in public or disparaging him or her to your children are not examples of showing good character. No matter how angry you are, a judge will not view this in a favorable light.
- Work with your attorney: Your divorce attorney is looking out for you. However, to provide the services you need, it is essential for you to be entirely honest and avoid omitting important details. Regardless of the shame you might feel regarding some of the parenting mistakes you made in the past, you need to share them with your attorney. Lying will harm your chances of obtaining the custody arrangement you desire.
- Do not be an uncooperative co-parent: Family courts generally believe the continued involvement of both parents is in the best interests of the children. If a judge believes you are being unsupportive of your children’s relationship with your ex, you will feel the negative consequences of it in court.
Can I Change the Terms of My Child Custody Arrangement?
Can I Refuse to Allow Visitation for Unpaid Child Support?
What Is Child Visitation?
Can One Parent Move Away With the Child?
Put Experienced Beacon Child Custody Attorneys on Your Side
Our Hudson Valley child custody lawyer is ready to help you navigate the New York child custody process. Get started today by scheduling an initial consultation!
Contact our Beacon child custody lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We serve the counties of Dutchess, Putnam, Ulster, and Orange, and beyond.
Flexible To Work With Your Schedule
Compassionate & Empathetic Legal Team
Personalized Attention For Every Case
Aggressive Advocates For Every Client
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Strategic Approach To Complex Cases