Top Rated Family Law ATtorneys
Top Rated Family Law ATtorneys


New York City Child Custody Lawyer - Family Law & Visitation

When it comes to the dissolution of a marriage, there is no more important aspect than caring for the children’s wellbeing. Even though a marriage is irreparable, the emotional and physical safety of the children will continue to be that couple’s responsibility post-divorce and must be a paramount consideration in any divorce case.

Unfortunately, child custody disputes often arise during these raw and emotionally charged moments. Having the insight and the skillful negotiation experience of a New York City child custody lawyer is one of the most important things you can do for yourself during a marital dissolution. They can tell you what to avoid during a child custody battle and what you can do to keep your children with you.

 If you are facing a complex child custody case in New York don’t wait. Contact Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer today at (212) 537-5859 to speak with a top-rated divorce lawyer in New York.

How Do New York State Laws Determine Child Custody?

In New York, laws are set up to protect the best interest of the child. Child custody lawyers and the courts will take a close look at the physical, emotional, and financial family dynamics in order to ensure that the children are best served in any custody determination.

When deciding on child custody, the court will consider many factors:  

  • Where is the child currently residing and for how long?
  • What is the environment like in each parent’s home?
  • What is the mental, emotional, physical, and financial status of each parent?
  • What are the parent’s work schedules?
  • Which parent is better able to provide housing, food, medical attention, and education for the child?
  • Which parent has better parenting skills?
  • Is there a history of domestic abuse in the family?
  • Is there a history of substance abuse for either parent?
  • Are there any existing custody orders in place?

These are only a few of the many factors that will be considered by the courts in New York to determine child custody. When it comes to older children, the court may also consider the child’s preference when making custody determinations. Working with a top Manhattan divorce lawyer is one of the best ways to ensure a fair outcome of a child custody case.  Contact us today for a consultation at (212) 537-5859.

What Is The “Best Interest Of The Child” In Family Law?

In New York custody disputes, the courts will always attempt to rule in favor of what they determine to be in the best interests of the child. But what does this really mean?

The best interest of the child is an important legal standard that family law considers when making any custody and visitation determinations.

During a divorce, each party can get caught up in perceived emotional transgressions by the other party. Unwittingly, parents can often forget about their children’s best interests and get caught up in their own feelings of vulnerability and pain. During custody disputes, it’s important for parents to try to put their own feelings of hurt aside for the long-term benefit of their children, ie. their “best interests”.  However, in the real world, this may be hard to do.

Therefore, the legal system in New York is designed to be that objective third party.  In New York, courts determine custody based on their findings of what will ultimately be best for a child’s emotional and physical health. The court will make their determinations, based on the information they are given, to promote and maintain a close and loving relationship with both parents, regardless of the acrimony of the moment.  In these times, having a talented child custody attorney by your side can help you demonstrate your suitability for legal or physical custody.  A great attorney can help you view the situation as the courts would view it, and present your case in a way that the court will view most favorably.

In the end, whether parents come to custody agreements between themselves, through negotiation between child custody lawyers, or that decision is made by a judge, the focus should always be on the best interests of the children.  To learn more about how we can help, contact the law firm of Juan Luciano today at (212) 537-5859.

Who Can Obtain Child Custody in New York?

In New York, both the mother and legal father have the right to request custody of a child. The legal father can establish his rights through an Acknowledgement of Paternity, an Order of Filiation from the court, or by being listed on the child’s birth certificate. If the child’s birth mother is married, her spouse is considered the child’s parent, even in cases of artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization with written consent from the spouse. 

A 2016 case established that a domestic partner of the child’s birth or adoptive parent can also establish parental rights under certain circumstances, even if not married or having adopted the child. Evidence that there is an agreement between the partner and parent to conceive and raise the child together must be provided. 

In the event of “extraordinary circumstances,” such as surrender, abandonment, persistent neglect, unfitness, or disruption of custody for a period of two years, relatives or friends of the child can request custody from the court. In such cases, the non-parent must prove that it is in the child’s best interest to have custody, and neither parent has a greater right to custody. In the absence of a custody order, either parent can get custody of the child.

A child custody determination is an agreement between parties as to how they will make decisions about their children’s care and living arrangements. There are two basic types of child custody:

  • Sole custody is a custody arrangement that allows one parent to make decisions about the children. Although the other parent (otherwise known as the non-custodial parent) may have the right to weigh in, the custodial parent has the ultimate decision-making rights.
  • Joint child custody is one where both parents and sometimes other caregivers share the decision-making authority with regard to the children. Joint custody requires that parents communicate effectively in order to consider what is best for the child.

Types Of Child Custody In New York City

Can that parent provide shelter and a stable income for the child?
Is that parent in close proximity to the child’s school?
Has that parent shown a commitment to the child’s safety and emotional needs?
Is the parent able to spend physical time with the child?

Sole Custody

Sole legal child custody is where one parent has the right to make primary decisions concerning the children after a divorce. In the case of sole custody, the custodial parent makes decisions about important aspects of the children’s lives such as their health and safety, medical care, religious instruction, and education.

When the court is asked to make a determination regarding sole custody, it will look at several factors such as income, commitment, and ability to spend time with the child.

When a parent seeks sole custody in New York, a judge will weigh many factors in order to determine if this sole physical custody and sole legal custody is indeed in the best interests of the child.

Joint Custody

Joint legal custody is when both parents share the responsibility of making important decisions with regard to the health and welfare of their children in a cooperative way.

The court will want to see that parents are able to put their personal differences aside in order to make the right decisions for their children.

Physical Custody

Most couples are familiar with physical custody which determines where a child will legally reside. In the case of sole physical custody, the child will reside with one parent. In the case of joint physical custody, the child moves between parents.

Joint physical custody may not always involve a 50 percent split of time. In many cases, the children will move between parents in ways that are most convenient to both parents. The custody agreement will spell out specific details about how this time will be shared.

Legal Custody

Legal custody determines which parents will make the major decisions affecting the life and welfare of the children. Sole legal custody provides that this decision-making responsibility falls on the custodial parent whereas joint legal custody requires that both parents share in the decision-making processes for the benefit of the children.

It’s important for parents to understand that this is a legally binding agreement and the courts take it seriously. If one parent is preventing the other from taking part in these decisions under a joint legal custody arrangement, that parent can be held in contempt.

Physical Or Legal Custody

Many divorcing couples are not aware that there are two distinctly different facets of child custody.

Although most are familiar with terms such as sole and joint custody, these are further broken down into the concepts of physical and legal custody in New York.

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Temporary Custody

The court may decide to award the physical custody of a child to one parent pending the resolution of a final determination or in the case of a legal separation by the parents in anticipation of a divorce. The other parent (non-custodial parent) will be given visitation rights under the temporary custody order.

The term visitation refers to the time given to the non-custodial parent to spend time with his or her children. The terms of visitation will be set out with a visitation schedule that specifies dates, times, and location parameters of when and where that parent is able to see the child.

Both parents are subject to the custody and visitation schedule and legally must abide by it. Failing to do so can have serious consequences. In the case where the court believes that it is necessary for the child’s safety and well-being, the court may require supervised visitation.  

Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer is a law firm experienced in New York City custody and visitation cases.  Call us today for a confidential consultation at (212) 537-5859.

Visitation (Parenting Time)

Emergency Application For Custody

Most custody concerns are dealt with through the normal hearing process which may take a certain amount of time. But there are times when one parent is concerned that the child is at imminent risk of being harmed or removed from the state.

An emergency order, or ex parte order, is a temporary custody order that is initiated by that parent. A true emergency will then be streamlined in order to protect the safety of the child.

In the past, courts would presume that children would be best served with the mother as the custodial parent, however in our current landscape, this is no longer the case. Both parents are considered equally able to effectively parent their children.

Child custody considers many complex legal issues and will affect children in the short term as well as the long-term. Having the aid of a child custody lawyer ensures that both parents’ and children’s best interests and rights are being legally represented and considered during a very emotional time.

If your custody arrangement is no longer serving you, you have the right to file a petition for a modification. This modification must still be in the best interests of the child, however. If both parents mutually agree on the modification, they may be able to work out a solution without a formal modification but there are legal downsides to doing so. Consequently, taking the appropriate legal steps with the assistance of a custody lawyer will be legally binding and safeguard everyone’s rights.

We can help with child custody issues in New York, Bronx, Westchester County, Upper East Side, and all other areas of New York City.

Frequently Asked Questions

Making the right decisions during a divorce can be extremely challenging. Yet, these decisions will have an impact on you and your children for years to come. With so many complex variables to consider, getting the legal advice and skill of an experienced New York child custody attorney will ensure that terms are negotiated to everyone’s benefit.

Contact us at the offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer to see how we can help.

Speak to the Experienced New York City Child Custody Lawyer Juan Luciano Today

Child custody disputes can be emotionally draining, especially when it comes to family law. As a parent, nothing is more vital to you than ensuring the well-being, happiness, and good health of your child or children. However, when conflicts arise over physical custody, decision-making, or parenting arrangements, it can be challenging to know where to seek help. 

You may have questions regarding the law or the legal process for resolving child custody issues. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this alone. Contact the top-rated New York child custody lawyer Juan Luciano today at (212) 537-5859  to schedule a consultation. 


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