Child Custody Agreements

Child Custody Agreements

Court determinations in matters of child custody awards are always based upon what is considered to be best for the child or children. Many and complicated factors are weighed by the Courts in determining custody and visitation rights when parents are undergoing a divorce or separation. A variety of custody agreements can emerge from these cases, including Joint, Sole, or Shared Custody.

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NY matrimonial attorney Ingrid Gherman can help you to understand these types of agreements, the factors that go into determining them, and to help guide you towards the best scenario for your case that will both secure your legal rights and to be the best solution for your children. Over the many years of her practice, she has accumulated a wealth of experience in the area of child custody and visitation agreements, as well as modification and enforcement proceedings that may follow.

If you anticipating a custody issue arising from your separation or divorce, or if you are currently embroiled in a battle with your spouse over the living arrangements and visitation of your children, get help by calling Ingrid Gherman’s law office at (212) 941-0767 or send the on-line form.

To understand the basic types of New York child custody agreements, Ingrid Gherman has prepared the following summary:

Joint Custody

In a joint custody award, both parents have legal custody with one parent designated as the primary residential parent. Under a joint custody arrangement, both parents can make decisions about their children. These decisions include residence of the child, medical and dental treatment, education, child care, religious education, extra-curricular activities, summer camp and recreation.

Sole Custody

Where joint custody is not awarded, one parent will have sole custody of the children. Sole custody means that a parent has the authority to make legal decisions for the children. The non-custodial parent is awarded specific visitation with the children.

Shared Custody

In shared custody, both parents share legal custody with each parent having specific periods of responsibility with the children. This arrangement gives both parents the right to make major decisions on an equal basis for their children.

The Courts will not award joint or shared custody unless the parents can demonstrate a level of maturity, willingness and ability to set aside their personal differences in order to decide what is in the best interest of their children.

Father and sonVisitation and Parental Access

In New York state, there is a presumption in the law that visitation with a non-custodial parent is the in the child's best interest.

When the non-custodial parent is incarcerated, this fact is not an automatic reason for blocking visitation. Generally, when the non-custodial parent demonstrates that he/she was involved in a meaningful way in the child's life prior to the incarceration and seeks to maintain a relationship with the child, visitation will be granted during the time the parent is incarcerated since the child can benefit from the visitation with his/her parent. It could be detrimental to an established relationship between the parent and the child.

A parent who is in prison does not forfeit visitation rights by being incarcerated. The parent=s incarceration, standing alone, does not make visitation inappropriate. However, visitation should be denied where it is demonstrated that under all the circumstances, visitation would be harmful to the child's welfare, or that the right to visitation has been forfeited.

If you are in the New York City vicinity and need assistance with a child custody or visitation issue, contact experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney Ingrid Gherman at (212) 941-0767 or use the convenient form.