Custody Matters in Suffolk County
Protecting what Matters Most to You
In New York, neither parent has a preferred right to the custody of a child, which means that the mother does not have more rights to the custody of the child than the child's legal father. In custody matters, part of the court’s consideration is who has been the primary caretaker of the child.
The court also looks at other factors, including the following:
- Will the child be separated from siblings?
- Is there a history of domestic violence?
- Does either parent have substance abuse issues related to alcohol or drugs?
- What is the amount of time that the parent is capable of spending with the child?
The judge will consider all of these factors in a litigated matter and will always put the best interests of the child above anything else in his or her final decision. In cases of collaborative divorce or mediation, the custody decision is left up to the parents to work through. Collaborative situations allow for the parents to amicably use their own discretion to come to a solution that is best for their family.
In sole custody arrangements, only one parent assumes responsibility for major decisions regarding the child, including health-related and educational issues. Also, one of the parents may be considered custodial while the other is non-custodial. Regardless of the custodial arrangement, both parents are entitled to parenting time with their child. The non-custodial parent will most often have to pay child support as well to contribute towards raising the child. Rights of parenting time are granted in most cases and include getting to spend time with the child on alternating weekends, every other holiday and sometimes on days during the week.
The only time that visitation rights may not be granted is if it will risk significant harm to the child. This usually entails criminal history, severe substance abuse or a history of violence. If you feel that you have been wrongly denied visitation rights, it is important that you obtain the assistance of a legal representative. Courts will determine custody arrangements that are in the best interests of the child and will not hesitate to curtail a parent’s right to see his or her child if that parent is incapable of caring for their child. Attorney Lynn Poster-Zimmerman is experienced in these matters and is available to help you concerning any custody issues.
Joint custody is typically an arrangement agreed to by the parents. This means that both adults have the right to make decisions for the child. Joint custody can take two different forms.
Each form carries with it a different set of expectations:
- Joint Legal Custody: both parents participate in major decisions concerning the welfare, education, and health of the child. They are both responsible for determining how the child will be raised, what spiritual belief they may have or even what events they will be allowed to attend.
- Joint Physical Custody: in addition to joint decision-making, equal time is spent with the child by both parents. It is meant to ensure physical contact with each parent on a consistent basis.
Proper Legal Guidance
If you need legal assistance with a custody issue on Long Island, it is advised that you contact the Suffolk custody attorney at Lynn Poster-Zimmerman, PC to discuss your situation. Custody matters can be very stressful and contentious between separated or divorced parents and require the professional legal help of an experienced attorney such as Lynn Poster-Zimmerman.
With more than 35 years of legal practice under her belt, this Suffolk family lawyer can provide outstanding and skilled service to any individual involved in a custody issue. Call (631) 731-1042 today for your free initial consultation!