Highly Experienced New York Child Custody Attorneys

Deciding child custody and visitation may be one of the most difficult things you do during a divorce, but it is also one of the most important. At Librett Friedland, LLP, our compassionate attorneys know every detail of New York's child custody laws and the issues involved. We will get to know your family and your concerns so we can help you achieve a positive outcome.

Contact us online or call 516-874-3523 to speak with an experienced family law attorney at Librett Friedland, LLP. We have been putting the needs of our clients and their children first since 1976.

Cost-Effective and Results-Oriented Solutions to Child Custody

Family law attorney Lloyd M. Friedland has decades of experience helping individuals find successful approaches to their divorce and child custody cases. He is an advocate of less adversarial and cost-effective solutions for his clients, such as mediation and collaborative law. When children are involved, there is an even stronger reason to choose an out-of-court process to minimize any negative impact on them.

However, if a more aggressive approach is necessary to protect your rights and your children's best interests, our attorneys are prepared to go to the Supreme Court or family court on your behalf.

What Is the Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?

In New York law, the phrases "legal custody" and "physical custody" refer to different aspects of a parent's legal rights and responsibilities. Legal custody is the ability to make major decisions — such as medical and educational decisions — for your children. If a parent has physical custody, it means that the children are living with him or her.

What Is Joint vs. Sole Custody?

Both parents typically share legal custody, physical custody or both — but usually to a different degree. The courts allocate a share of each type of custody to each parent.

When one parent cannot guarantee the child's health and welfare, the court can award the other parent sole custody — legal, physical or both. It is far more common for both parents to have joint custody to some degree.

Often the parents share legal custody equally. That means each parent has full authority to make medical, educational, religious and other decisions on behalf of the child, although responsible parents make these decisions together.

As more fathers demand a full share of time with their kids, it is increasingly common for physical custody to be shared 50/50. This change is reflected in New York law — when one parent has primary physical custody, time spent with the other is now called "parenting time" as opposed to "visitation."

Child custody and parenting time can be mediated or negotiated as part of a divorce settlement, or decided via the collaborative process. There are important legal factors that must be taken into account, however, so you do need to talk to a lawyer. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the custody arrangements will be decided by a judge.

The Best Interests of Your Children

A court will look at many factors when it considers child custody and visitation. For example, the court will ask:

  • Are the parents mentally and physically able to care for their child?
  • Is there any history of domestic violence?
  • If the child is old enough to make his or her own decisions, what does he or she want?
  • Has there been one main caregiver throughout the child's life?

Contact Our Experienced New York Family Lawyers Today

If you have questions about child custody and visitation or any other family law issue, we can help. Contact us online or call 516-874-3523 for an appointment at one of our three offices in Garden City, East Hampton and New York City. We accept all major credit cards.