Family on the grassI offer legal counsel and representation on child custody and visitation matters. Child custody settlements are some of the most important decisions parents have to make. These agreements form the blueprints for the way your family communicates and operates after you divorce or separate. These issues are often emotionally charged.

I do my best to help my clients negotiate and resolve their child custody and visitation matters in a way that gives them comfort that their children’s needs will be met both now and in the future.

Contested custody matters are sometimes unavoidable; however, they are expensive and emotionally draining. I work with my clients to explore all their options before and even during a contested custody matter to make sure the children’s needs are met.


Child Custody and Visitation Options

I will work with you to find the best possible custody and visitation resolution. We will explore all available options until we find the custody arrangement that suits your family’s needs:

  • Joint
  • Sole
  • Shared or split
  • Spheres of Influence
  • Nesting

All families are different and it is necessary to consider these differences when approaching the decision to litigate and in negotiating a settlement. We will work together until we find the right fit for your situation.


New York State Child Custody Settlements

New York State courts reserve for themselves the ultimate decisions on child custody and visitation settlements. Where parents reach agreement on their custody and visitation resolutions, the courts will generally approve them.

However, where parents cannot agree, the court is charged with the responsibility of determining the case. A court will look at the entirety of a case and make a decision based on the sometimes elusive standard known as the “best interests of the child(ren)”:

  • Emotional ties of parent and child
  • Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s basic and material needs
  • Mental and physical health of parents
  • Each parent’s lifestyle and career situations
  • Each parent’s likelihood to allow the child to maintain contact with the other
  • Each parent’s ability to provide a stable and permanent home
  • Child’s ties to the community

I work with my clients to present a thorough and compelling case to the court based on solid evidence of their parenting abilities. I will fight to protect your parental rights and work with you to find the best possible legal solution.


Renegotiating Your New York Child Custody Settlement

New York State child custody settlements can be renegotiated. The court recognizes a need for renegotiation in the wake of substantial and material changes in the child’s or the family’s circumstances, such as:

  • Custodial parent deemed unstable or unfit
  • Relocation of custodial parent
  • The child’s decision to reside with the other parent
  • Remarriage of either parent
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Illness or disability to either parents

We would need to discuss any problems and unanticipated changes which may arise after the initial custody arrangements are determined.

We can bring a case before the court to modify your custody agreement to meet the changing needs of your family and protect your children’s well-being. Or, we can address a similar proceeding brought by a parent or former spouse who is seeking to change the custodial or visitation arrangements.