In the past child custody arrangements have been hazy and steeped in mystery, but in current society, with divorce and non-traditional family set ups becoming the norm child custody arrangements, rules and regulations are more transparent and defined. A child custody attorney could help parents work out a schedule that best meets the needs of the child or children to which the agreement pertains. There are a few set paths that can be explored by parents seeking child custody agreements.
Types of Child Custody
A parent can choose to pursue joint custody or sole custody of minor children. In joint custody models both parents must agree to major decision in the child’s life. Where the children live, their education, their medical care and their education are some of those major decisions. For daily decisions, the parent who has physical custody of the child makes the decision.
Sole custody means only one parent has physical custody of the child and the ability to make major life decisions for the minor. Parents with sole custody may, or may not, have to agree to visitations for the non-custodial parent.
Reaching a Child Custody Agreement
The two parents can reach a child custody agreement through a mediator or through court proceedings. A mediator is an impartial party who helps the two parents work together to lay out visitation schedules and decision-making tasks for the child. Mediation is usually suggested for parents seeking joint custody who are, generally amicable towards one another. Court proceedings are a last resort when parents cannot come to an agreement. In this case a judge makes a decision in the best interest of the child.
The court uses many criteria to decide what custody arrangement is best for the child. Who has cared for the child more, the mental and physical health of the parent and living situations all come into play. A child custody attorney can be utilized by parents if the proceedings reach the court.
Once an agreement is reached it is legally binding and must be followed. If a parent refuses to adhere to the agreement, they are considered in violation of a court order. Orders can also be modified by filing a petition to modify the visitation order if life situations or job situations change.
Dealing with child custody issues is never easy. Thankfully, child custody attorneys and a straight forward process make it a bit easier in the state of New York.
To speak with an experienced New York child custody attorney, contact Alatsas Law Firm. The child custody attorneys at Alatsas Law Firm will guide you through the process and offer much needed legal advice to help you arrive at the best possible situation.