Long Island Child Custody Lawyer
retain trusted counsel for your case in new york
Making the decision to get a divorce when children are involved can make the process quite complicated. Unless you and your spouse have already come to a mutual agreement about who will have custody or how you will share time, you will need to hire an attorney to make sure your best interests are protected. Here at Hedayati Law Group P.C., our Long Island custody lawyers have years of experience resolving child custody disputes.
Why Hire Our Child Custody Lawyers?
Whether you are involved in a complicated divorce or paternity case, our child custody attorneys in Long Island can provide the honest representation you need. We can help you protect your child’s future and your custody and visitation rights.
- 150+ years’ combined experience on your side
- Strong client testimonials and peer reviews
- Lead attorney included in Super Lawyers® Rising Stars three years in a row
- Competitive rates & a free consultation
Though you may immediately feel that it is best for you to have full custody, we often recommend that you consider preserving your child's relationship with his or her other parent for the sake of your children's long-term interests. Remember child custody disputes are incredibly traumatic to children, and the quicker you can make a decision, the better.
Discuss your child custody plans in our free, private consultation with one of our professionals. Call (631) 880-6440 to begin.
Helping Father & Mother Resolve Custody Disputes
Many factors can determine child custody arrangements, including the child's preference, each parent's parenting history and skills, and the child's relationship to siblings or other family members. Our team will listen to your situation and work closely with you to create a child custody plan that both parents can agree on.
We can provide information on the following child custody topics:
- How the court determines visitation and parenting terms if you can't come to an agreement
- How your child's personal preference can play a role in a child custody dispute
- How you and your spouse's financial standings will come into play in a child custody dispute
- What will happen if you or your spouse decides to move or get remarried
Seek Clarity to Avoid Breaking Custody Orders
No child custody order is set absolutely after it is created, and all can be subject to modification. Courts will typically only approve of modification if one or both spouses experience a significant life change, or one spouse continues to violate the agreements outlined in the order. If you want to spend time with your children and maintain your rights, you must be conscious about your agreements and New York’s custody laws at all times.
Whenever you encounter a situation where you are not sure about your rights and limitations as a divorced parent – such as planning an out-of-state vacation with your children – you should always seek clarification from the court or your attorney. You can also speak directly to your ex-spouse if you want to make temporary modifications to the agreement. It is still advised you work with a lawyer or get any impromptu agreements notarized, just in case your ex-spouse forgets or attempts to get you in trouble.
Tips For Effective Co-Parenting After A Divorce
For divorced parents, co-parenting effectively in the aftermath of a divorce can be difficult, particularly if the relationship is still rather contentious and fraught with raw emotions. Being able to co-parent in a civil manner is incredibly important for your children since it provides a sense of stability and security for them. You might never be happy at the thought of having to continuously deal with your ex-spouse, but making this relationship work is about your children and their well-being.
Here are some tips:
- Let your emotions take a back seat: If you want to successfully co-parent with your ex, you are going to have to set your emotions aside. Co-parenting should not be about the past or any unresolved grievances, but rather about ensuring your children’s happiness and well-being. You should never vent to your children. Doing so will make them feel like they have to choose between you and the other parent.
- Work on communicating effectively: Communication is key when it comes to successful co-parenting and essential to maintaining peace. Anytime you are about to contact your ex, ask yourself how this discussion could potentially impact your child. You should also ensure that any discussion you have with your ex is focused on your children rather than on any issues you might have with your former partner.
- Co-parenting should be a team effort: Regardless if you are on good terms with your ex or not, the fact is you will have to make many joint decisions on behalf of your children throughout the years. Being able to accomplish this without any major fights or bickering will make this process go smoothly, so it is in the best interest of your children that you aim for consistency and teamwork with your co-parent.
- Make transitions between visits easier: Moving from one home to another, no matter how often or infrequently it happens, can be difficult for children to cope with. Every time they reunite with a parent, they are also separating from another parent, which can stir up a lot of delicate emotions. Given the circumstances, these transitions are not something that can be avoided, but you can make it easier for them.
Understanding Third Party Custody Rights
New York does not limit child custody rights to just the biological or legal parents of a child. In some situations, close relatives or even family friends might have the right to seek custody of a child after the parents’ divorce.
People who may attempt to win third-party custody rights include:
- Aunts, uncles, and adult siblings
- Stepparents or domestic partners of child’s parent
- Caretakers with extensive experience living with the child
As with any other legal process, the court will only assign third-party custody if it is to be in the best interest of the child. If both legal parents do not seem to be a “good fit” for the child, or if both have passed away, a judge might be inclined to consider third-party custody.
How to Prove a Parent Unfit
A judge would closely evaluate each parent's ability to care for the children and fulfill their needs during any custody battle. If you feel the other parent is a threat to the children or is unqualified to have custody, you must be able to justify this to the judge if you expect the court to strip away the parent's custody rights.
Analyze the parent's behavior: It is not in the best interests of the child to be in the care of a parent who regularly places the child in risky circumstances or is reckless in any way. Consider and record any violent acts, emotional violence, or apparent drug dependence.
Identify the child's surroundings: While the parent's actions may not be a concern, the circumstances in which the child is put may be. It's an apparent concern if, for example, the infant is not adequately monitored, is not supplied with basic needs, or is exposed to unsafe environments or safety hazards. Consider if the parent has any potentially dangerous associates, such as gang members or convicts.
Record evidence: Once you've witnessed the parent's actions and the child's atmosphere and concluded the child is in danger, you'll need to gather evidence to back up the arguments. This may include media archives that track injury or neglect, the child's medical history, the parent's criminal history, email, voicemail, or text messages with the parent. Prepare to present this testimony to the judge.
can Child Custody be Modified?
In the event your spouse is not sticking to the terms of your child custody order or if your circumstances have changed and you need to modify any part of the agreement, our family lawyers can help. We have extensive experience representing parents in custody modifications and enforcement proceedings. The courts understand that life is unpredictable and will allow modifications under specific circumstances, such as when a substantial change in finances, health, or living situation occurs. Our goal is to help guide you and answer any questions that you may have about your case.