Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Child Custody Archives

New York court expands definition of parent

On Aug. 30, a New York state court ruled that non-biological and non-adoptive parents may be granted visitation and custody rights if a couple ends their relationship. The latest ruling overturns a ruling in 1991 made by the same court that defined a parent as someone who was the child's biological parent or who had a connection to the child through adoption.

Co-parenting and screen time rules after a divorce

New York parents might differ in their opinions about how much game time is acceptable for their children. When they divorce and one parent has concerns about the other parent allowing a child to play video or smartphone games all of the time, tensions can rise. Family therapists believe that consistent rules across both households benefit children the most, but resolving differences in parenting styles can be difficult.

Judge rules for Chris Brown in custody hearing

New York residents may have heard that the mother of singer Chris Brown's daughter asked a judge for full custody of the child. She also asked for limited visitation for the singer and no visitation for the child's grandmother. The woman also asked that Chris Brown be drug tested. However, during a hearing on Aug. 12, all of her requests were denied. In fact, she was ordered to reimburse Brown for money he gave her for her attorney.

How family law judges resolve child custody disputes

Reaching decisions in child custody or visitation disputes can be a delicate and challenging process for family law judges in New York and around the country, and their primary concern in these situations is to determine what would be in the child's best interests. While the best interest doctrine is widely used, it is also somewhat nebulous and can be difficult to apply when both parents make impassioned claims. When contending with highly charged emotional arguments, judges may look first to see which parent has been the child's primary caregiver.

Singer asks for joint custody of child

New York fans of singer Louis Tomlinson may have heard that he has filed for joint custody of his 5-month-old son. As part of the request, a judge will determine how much in child support he will pay to the child's mother. Currently, he is paying $15,000 per month and is also renting a home in California for the mother and son to live in.

When divorced parents don't comply with custody agreement

Divorce can be hard on children, who love both their parents. They may not understand what is happening between mom and dad other than the fact that one of them doesn't live at home anymore. This is why New York parents need to do all they can to lessen the trauma on their children, both during and after the divorce is finalized.

Fathers still facing stereotypes in custody battles

Some fathers in New York who are going through a divorce may find that the stereotype that divorced fathers are lazy or even abusive still exists. Fathers might seek joint physical custody and find that courts still favor mothers, and mothers, concerned about losing control of their children, might fight to block fathers' access. As a result, some devoted fathers might find themselves facing a visitation schedule that permits only two weekends monthly with their children.

Parental Access Schedules Are Not Fixed In Stone

In arriving at a parental access schedule the concept begins with the goal of protecting and nurturing the children.  The schedule should be fair to both parents and healthy for the child, who is not getting a divorce.  As the adage goes: future relationships must persist despite the exacerbation of the divorce. Cutting edge mental health science teaches us that the child's ability to accommodate competing loyalties  - - parents who do not like each other but who both love the child - - does not fall into place until the child is in her or his early 20s.   With that in mind, divorced and separated parents in New York divorces should be steadfast in their committment to minimizing the impact of their breakup on their children. This often requires creativity for both parents to maintain meaningful relationships with the children in different households.

Get The Help You need

If you would like to talk with me, call my office in Manhattan at 212-499-0940 or contact me online.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us Today

Robert G. Smith, PLLC
950 Third Ave., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Phone: 212-499-0940
Fax: 212-499-9091
New York Law Office Map