New York couples who share children and are ending their marriage will have significant concerns about child custody and the visitation rights. Of course, every situation is different and the details of the case will determine how custody and visitation are allocated. When starting a child custody case, parents are well-advised to have a grasp of what a judge will consider when deciding which parent will have custody. This is important for the child’s well-being and is critical to the parents as they assess how to handle the case and its aftermath. Legal representation is imperative in these cases.
The judge will examine the best interests of the child. This is paramount. In addition, there will be certain factors that will come to the forefront. Often, one parent was the child’s primary caretaker. As the judge comes to a determination, the parent who cared for the child most of the time will often be granted custody. The home environment is critical. The child must be in a safe and nurturing circumstance and the judge will consider which parent provides that. Parental fitness includes the parents’ employment, lifestyle, if there is stability in the home, and the chance for the child to have good physical and mental health if he or she lives with a parent.
As the case is in progress, the child might live with one parent during a separation. The court will look at how the child is managing and whether the arrangement should continue. The parents must provide an intellectual and emotional environment that benefits the child. The parents are encouraged to make sure both sides have a solid relationship with the child and if it is safe. A parent seeking to alter the child’s perception of the other parent or who tries to foster a negative relationship could impact the decision. Allegations of abuse will be investigated for their validity. If the child is of sufficient age and maturity, his or her preferences will be factored in.
Child custody and visitation can be the foundation for some of the most contentious disagreements in a divorce proceeding. To avoid rancor and long-term damage while making certain a fair and well-informed decision is made, having legal assistance is a crucial factor. Calling a law firm experienced in custody and visitation is a wise first step.