Child custody battles are often one of the most emotionally charged and
difficult situations for parents to navigate. When a relationship breaks
down, it can be challenging to come to an agreement on what is best for
the children involved.
As a psychologically trained divorce attorney/mediator and child custody
advocate, I counsel and inform scared and concerned parents all the time
on how to approach their child custody issues. During my free consultations,
I answer many questions about child custody, and I encourage parents to
use mediation, not the adversarial court system, to find peaceful solutions
to address their custody issues.
Here are some of the common questions I receive about child custody:
What is child custody? Child custody refers to the legal and physical responsibility
of a parent or guardian for the care, control, and upbringing of a child.
Ultimately it’s the right to make decisions. Custody is often granted
to both parents or guardians, but in some cases, it may be awarded to only one.
What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody? Legal
custody refers to the decision-making authority for the child's upbringing,
including education, medical care, and religious practices. Physical custody
refers to the living arrangements for the child.
What factors are considered when determining child custody? The court will
consider a variety of factors when determining custody, including the
child's age, relationship with each parent, the ability of each parent
to provide for the child's needs, the child's education, and the
child's emotional and physical well-being.
What is joint custody? Joint custody means that both parents share legal
and physical custody of the child. It can be an equal split or divided
based on the child's needs and the parents' schedules.
What is sole custody? Sole custody means that one parent has the right
to make decisions for the child. The other parent may have visitation
rights, but they do not have decision-making authority.
How is custody determined in court? Custody is determined in court based
on what is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider
evidence from both parties, including witness testimony and any other
Can custody arrangements be changed? Yes, custody arrangements can be changed
if there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants a modification.
This could include a parent's relocation, a change in the child's
needs, or a change in the parent's ability to provide care for the child.
Can grandparents or other family members get custody of a child? Yes, in
some cases, grandparents or other family members can get custody of a
child. This may occur if the child's parents are unable to provide
care or if it is in the child's best interests.
What is a parenting plan? A parenting plan is a document that outlines
the custody and visitation arrangements for the child. It may include
details about living arrangements, decision-making authority, and visitation
How can parents resolve custody disputes without going to court? Parents
can resolve custody disputes outside of court through mediation or negotiation.
This can be an effective way to reach a resolution that is in the best
interests of the child and to avoid the emotional and financial costs
of going to court.
My successful mediation approach provides a skilled and amicable approach
to developing a detailed parenting plan in a cohesive and supportive discussion.
Child custody battles can be really difficult and unnecessary for parents
and their children. It's essential to understand the legal framework
and the factors that are considered when determining custody. There are
better options for child custody. Seeking the guidance of an experienced
family law attorney/mediator can help you navigate the process and ensure
that your child's best interests are protected.
As a psychologically trained, skilled divorce attorney/mediator, I offer
unique and compassionate solutions to resolve custody disputes. Call me
to discuss what is possible before you head to court.
If you have any questions regarding a peaceful, creative, and less expensive
approach to child custody, please call me at 212.734.1551.
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are still conveniently available virtually.
I look forward to helping you make custody decisions that are in the best
interest of your child and your family.
New York Divorce lawyer Lois Brenner is offering a free child custody consultation.
We have a few openings still available this week.