Child Custody Attorneys in Albany
Providing Effective Legal Services & Personalized Guidance
Backed by more than 25 years of combined experience, our child custody attorneys in Albany have a comprehensive understanding of this practice area. In fact, we have an extensive track record of success in family law. We can efficiently guide you through the process as we defend your rights and help you make sound decisions about your loved ones. Our firm truly cares about our clients, and we do everything we can to help them achieve their goals. Also, we work hard to make ourselves as easily accessible as possible. You can rely on us to be there for you when you need us most.
The following are all possible outcomes to a child custody matter:
- Sole physical custody
- Sole legal custody
- Joint physical custody
- Joint legal custody
How Is Child Custody Determined in New York?
When courts in New York make decisions regarding child custody, they always take into account what is in the child’s best interests.
For instance, courts will look at:
- Both parents’ work schedules
- The child’s wishes, depending on their age
- Each parent’s physical and emotional well-being
- Both parents’ ability to cooperate with each other
- Each parent’s ability to properly care for their child
- If there is any history of abuse or neglect in the family
The court will take into account the above factors when determining legal custody and sole custody. Both parents have an equal right to custody in the eyes of the law. A parent has legal custody when they are able to make legal decisions on behalf of the child, such as the child’s education, religion, healthcare, and more. A parent has physical custody when the child primarily resides with that parent. Both types of custody may either be sole or joint. A parent has sole custody when only they have that type of custody. Joint custody is when both parents share that type of custody.
Visitation (Parenting Time) in New York
If a single parent is awarded sole custody, the other parent is typically given the right to some sort of visitation rights as long as it is in the best interests of the child. New York courts aim to provide non-custodial parents with "frequent and meaningful" parenting time with the child and may be supervised, unsupervised, or supervised by a therapist. This means that even parents with histories of physical abuse or substance abuse may still be awarded supervised daytime visitation rights in select circumstances.
The court may set a visitation schedule that fits the child and parents' schedules or allow visitation to be agreed upon by the parents.
Can Custody and Visitation Be Changed?
Yes. Either parent can file a petition to change their existing custody or visitation order if they can prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the order was created and that the change would be in the child's best interest. Both parents have the right to an attorney in custody modification cases.
Examples of circumstances in which a custody modification may be warranted include:
- The parent with physical custody wishes to relocate somewhere which would impact the other parent's visitation rights
- There is a substantial change in the financial status of either parent
- There is substantial change in the child's health
- A child is abandoned, abused, or neglected
Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in New York?
New York is one of the few states that allows grandparents to pursue visitation rights in a similar manner as when a parent would petition for custody or visitation. Grandparents or other nonparents can present their case in court and argue that it is in the child or children's best interest to have them in their lives. Adult siblings may also seek visitation rights in this fashion.