At our law firm, we know pretty well how much your child is important to you. That’s why, when you are getting divorced and are drawn into a child custody dispute, our skilled child custody attorneys are ready to support you and protect your rights as a parent. Without a doubt, both you and your ex-spouse want what is most beneficial for your children. However, it’s a tough job to make a decision about who a child will live with, and what reflects his or her best interests. Although custody battles are typically an emotional experience, you must just go through it striving for a compromise resolution. Remember: your child’s best interests are beyond everything.

With a New York child custody attorney from Shtark Law PC you’ll have an experienced lawyer on your side who will give you expert legal advice and best representation of your rights.

Child Custody in Divorce

One of the first stages in establishing who will be awarded custody is to understand options concerning types of custody arrangements.

In New York City, there are two possible ways to decide who is going to get custody. Quite often, parents reach mutual agreement on child custody with the guidance of a child custody lawyer, as a result of informal settlement negotiations. Likewise, divorcing parents can arrive at an out-of-court settlement on parenting time.

Conversely, if parents aren’t able to negotiate an agreement, the custody decision will be then made in court.

Custody and Visitation in Non-Divorce Cases

At our law firm, we often get calls from people who have children but are not officially married. They are interested in their rights related to child custody in NYC. Here is the answer: the rights of an unmarried couple basically don’t differ from those of married parents. Still, such cases are typically heard in court.

Child Custody Law

According to New York State child custody Law, a Custody Order delegates responsibility for the child to one or both of parents. Alternatively, it can also be someone else. Custody is awarded so that the best interests of the child are met.

Actually, there is no universal definition of the best interest of the child. Normally, it reflects factors that the court studies when deciding what will benefit the child, and, as a result, which of the parents better matches the responsibility to look after the child. Importantly, in New York, the child’s health and safety are considered the primary concerns while concluding child custody agreement. The court’s resolution might be affected by the following factors:

  • who is the main nurturer of the child;
  • the child’s relations with the siblings;
  • housing conditions;
  • health of the parents, physical and mental;
  • ability of the parents to satisfy the child’s special needs, if there exist any working time;
  • the child’s preference, however, it depends upon his or her age.

Types of Child Custody in New York

Let’s have a closer look at the types of child custody. Child custody is classified on two levels:

  • legal/physical
  • sole/joint
  • Legal Custody

In New York City, a legal custody owner has the right to take key decisions about a child’s education, religion or medical care. Most commonly, legal custody is granted to both parents (joint custody). However, if one of the parents is unfit or isn’t able to make decisions (examples include abuse, drug addiction and criminal behavior), legal custody is given to the other one (sole custody).

Legal Custody

In New York City, a legal custody owner has the right to take key decisions about a child’s education, religion or medical care. Most commonly, legal custody is granted to both parents (joint custody). However, if one of the parents is unfit or isn’t able to make decisions (examples include abuse, drug addiction and criminal behavior), legal custody is given to the other one (sole custody).

Physical Custody

A physical custody parent is in charge of the physical care of a child.

Sole Custody

When one of the parents is granted sole legal custody, only he or she receives the right to make key decisions about the child. Similarly, sole physical custody implies that the child lives together with this parent more than ½ of the time. The other parent is then granted the right of visitation.

Joint Custody

In joint legal custody, each parent has the right for major decision making. Joint physical custody implies that the child lives with each parent for equal or close to equal periods of time.

Temporary Custody

Temporary custody orders allow temporary solutions to disputes that cannot be put off till the end of judicial proceedings. Temporary custody covers physical custody, visitation and child support. The orders are typically issued at the first appearance, and they stay in force until the court alters them or issues final orders. Here is a piece of advice: you should mindfully approach temporary orders, as they might affect the final ones.

Visitation Rights

Today, the most typical arrangement is the following: physical custody is given to one parent, and the other gets visitation rights, with legal custody shared between them both. Most commonly, a non-custodial parent obtains the right to spend time with the child at weekends as well as an arranged number of weeks on summer holidays.

Child Custody Situations

Having extensive experience in resolving custody disputes, Shtark Law PC attorneys can provide you with professional assistance with the next aspects:

  • tackling issues concerning relocation;
  • altering the parenting plan;
  • handling situations when one of the parents is in violence;
  • amending the visitation schedule;
  • helping grandparents who seek visitation rights;
  • resolving cases related to the rights of a non-biological parent.

In essence, the New York family Law branch requires qualified experts with remarkable communication skills. Also, we strongly believe that an attorney that deals with law cases involving children should be especially empathetic. New York child custody lawyers at Shtark Law can render instant assistance to you. We know how to fight for your interests in court. We closely cooperate with both parents to establish an effective partnership if it’s achievable. Still, our major goal remains to satisfy the child’s needs.

Child Custody Issues

Child custody matters tend to be complex as parents might have divergent views on the outcomes, which may interfere with achieving an agreement on essential points. Having a broad expertise in dealing with custody issues in New York City, Shtark Law PC child custody lawyers have compiled a list of the most typical ones.

  1. Relocation

It often happens that a sole custody parent wants to move to another location. Consequently, this makes visitation more complicated for the other parent. Remember that parent relocations must be legally permitted by court.

  1. Visitation Troubles

In many cases, a parent keeps disrupting visitation times if his or her ex-spouse fails to provide for child support. Also, a parent might disobey orders, for instance, he or she may violate the rules related to the appointed times of visitation. Such instances might make ex-spouses come to court again and again.

  1. Virtual Communication with the Child

The court can allow a non-custodial parent to have an arranged number of calls with the child. However, it sometimes happens that a parent refuses to speak to a child, or, conversely, prohibits the child from talking to the other parent. In either case, this leads to a bitter conflict.

  1. Access to Information

Parents sometimes cover up information about the child from their ex-spouses, for instance, the child’s health condition or some educational information. That’s undoubtedly a complicated issue, especially in joint legal custody.

  1. Different Views on Upbringing

Finally, child custody cases get more complicated if the parents can’t agree upon the child’s upbringing. That’s why it’s essential for parents to arrive at mutual agreement about raising the child during mediation.


When your spouse and you are going through a divorce, it’s usually difficult to arrive at mutual agreement upon who is going to gain child custody. One of the best ways to understand the peculiarities of the process and receive professional assistance is to seek guidance from an experienced child custody family lawyer in New York City.

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