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Child custody and visitation and extraordinary circumstances

In New York State, child custody and visitation can be a complicated matter that has a seemingly endless number of variables. As always, the best interests of the child are paramount. In some instances, there will be people who want to have custody of the child in addition to the parents. This can be a difficult to navigate situation, but the law addresses it by assessing what is known as "extraordinary circumstances."

For all parties who are seeking child custody or are embroiled in a child custody dispute, understanding this is critical. When there are people who play a prominent role in the life of the child, that person can request child custody. It is not necessary for it to be a parent. The judge who is deciding on custody - regardless of who is seeking it - will gauge the situation to determine if it falls into extraordinary circumstances. Then, the best interests of the child will be assessed.

Examples of extraordinary circumstances include the parents being neglectful or abusive to the child, committing abandonment, a parent being incarcerated, or there being behaviors that are viewed as detrimental to the child's ability to thrive and be properly cared for. When examining the case in the context of the child's best interests, many factors will be part of that process. Should those extraordinary circumstances be evident, the court can act accordingly and place the child with a custodial who will provide the adequate environment.

When there is a child custody dispute, having legal assistance is a must. Those who are invested in the child's care and well-being should know how best to serve those needs. Understanding extraordinary circumstances is a critical part of that. Calling a law firm that understands all aspects of custody and visitation is integral to a case whether it is a parent or another person seeking custody.

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