Top Rated Family Law ATtorneys
Top Rated Family Law ATtorneys


New York City Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer

Dealing with child custody and visitation issues in New York City can be an emotionally draining and legally challenging process. Whether you are facing a divorce, separation, or modifications to existing custody arrangements, understanding the legal landscape is essential. New York City laws aim to prioritize the best interests of the child while also considering the circumstances and capabilities of each parent. 

Child custody disputes are among the most difficult aspects of family law. In New York City, courts take into account various factors when determining the most appropriate custody arrangement, including the child’s age, health, and emotional ties to each parent. Visitation rights are equally important, as they ensure that the non-custodial parent maintains a meaningful and consistent relationship with their child. With so much at stake, having an experienced lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. A skilled New York City child custody and visitation attorney can assist with negotiations, mediate disputes, and, if necessary, represent you in court to safeguard your parental rights.

If you are confronting a child custody or visitation issue in New York City, seeking professional legal help is crucial. Juan Luciano, a respected NYC divorce lawyer, experienced in child custody and visitation, provides compassionate yet assertive representation to help you secure the best possible outcome for you and your child. Don’t face this challenging time alone—contact Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer today at (212) 537-5859 to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a brighter future for your family.

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 child custody and visitation 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.

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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.

Types Of Child Custody In New York City

A child custody determination is an agreement between parties as to how they will make decisions about their children’s care and living arrangements. 

Type of CustodyDescription
Sole CustodyOne parent has the right to make primary decisions concerning the children’s lives (health, safety, medical care, religious instruction, education). The court considers factors like income, commitment, and time spent with the child.
Joint CustodyBoth parents share the responsibility of making important decisions regarding their children’s health and welfare cooperatively. The court requires parents to put aside personal differences for the best interest of the children.

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 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.

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.

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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.

When parents can come together to decide what best fits the emotional and financial care of their children, it is a wonderful thing. However, this is not always what happens during a contentious divorce.

Over my 15 years as a practicing family law attorney in New York, I have led my clients to the effective resolution of their child custody and visitation disputes. We do this in a way that honors their needs and goals but always considers the best interests of the children first and foremost.

With multiple frameworks to use from mediation to litigation, I take time to develop a healthy attorney-client relationship and an emotionally refined approach. In this way, I try to understand what has transpired and what is best for my clients and their children to move forward beyond divorce into a future that supports them both emotionally and financially.

Effective Resolution Of Child Custody And Child Visitation Disputes

Child Visitation Schedules In New York

Courts today realize that children are enriched by access to both parents and take a more nuanced approach to visitation rights for a noncustodial parent. Consequently, a visitation schedule can be as unique as each family requires.

Although a very common visitation schedule is where the noncustodial parent has access to the child every other weekend and a couple of visits during the week, this may not fit parents’ needs and schedules.

Negotiating successful visitation schedules during a divorce relies on an approach that will diffuse animosity and yet remain diligent to the needs of the parents and the children. This is when the skill of a talented visitation rights lawyer is crucial.

Difference Between Child Custody And Child Visitation

Even though the terms custody and visitation are closely intertwined, they have very different meanings.

Under New York family law, legal and physical child custody refer to the primary decision-making responsibilities and where the child will physically reside after the divorce. Both legal and physical custody can be shared (joint custody) or awarded to a primary custodial parent (sole custody).

In terms of joint custody, it may take a myriad of forms to accommodate the parents’ and children’s needs and schedules. Child custody agreements will set out the terms and specific times that parents will share in the custody of their children.

Visitation refers to the time set out for the noncustodial parent to spend with his or her child. Visitation will be determined depending on the parents’ and children’s needs and schedules and will be set out in a visitation schedule that both parents must abide by. A judge may order supervised visitations if there is evidence that it is necessary for the child’s safety and well-being.

There are many different variables to be considered when negotiating the best custodial arrangements and visitation schedules for all parties. A lawyer with experience in family law understands the gravity of these negotiations and the necessity to ensure the rights of the client as well as always considering the best interests of the children.

If, in the future, this schedule or custodial agreement no longer serves the parties, a family law attorney can draw up and file a modification with the court.

Working With A New York Child Custody and Visitation Attorney

Handling the legal aspects of child custody and visitation can be overwhelming, especially when the emotional well-being of your child is at stake. Ensuring that you have a knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer by your side can provide the support and guidance needed to achieve a fair and favorable outcome. With the right legal representation, you can focus on what truly matters—maintaining a loving and stable environment for your child.

Don’t face this challenging time alone. Contact Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer today at (212) 537-5859 to schedule a consultation.


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