Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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Posts tagged "Child custody"

Enforcing visitation time in a child custody order

After a New York judge has issued a child custody order, the parents involved are expected to follow the order. Failure to comply with a child custody order could result in a parent having to pay fines and compensation to the other parent. In some cases, the child custody order could end up being modified as a result of one parent's noncompliance with the order.

How do you file for custody or visitation in New York?

When a New York couple determines that they need to get a divorce, it is likely that one or both parties want custody of any children that resulted from the marriage. However, as with any legal process, filing for custody can be confusing.

How to create a parenting agreement

New York couples who have one or more children and are going through a divorce may need to create their own parenting agreement. This is because they are still need to care for their children as long as they are the legal parents. In most cases, parents may come up with their own agreement through informal negotiations or through mediation outside of court. When an agreement is reached, it is final and binding on all parties once it has been approved by the court.

Communication and consistency may help post-divorce co-parenting

While New York parents who have divorced may struggle to remain civil with their ex-spouses, it is in the best interests of their children if they commit to working together in parenting, particularly in joint custody arrangements. Working as an effective team in making decisions about their children requires parents to communicate calmly and cooperatively and learn to compromise regarding minor issues.

The benefits and drawbacks of virtual visitation

In today's advanced technological environment, the rights of some divorced parents are being impacted by what is called virtual visitation. This is a way for non-custodial parents who are not physically present to continue their relationship with their children by using tools such as email, social media sites, webcams and video conferencing. It seeks to supplement in-person visitation between non-custodial parents and their children, not replace it. New York judges have already began to use this method as a way to extend parental visitation rights.

How New York courts determine the best interests of a child

There is no fixed definition for the legal principle known as the best interests of a child when the court is deciding on child custody in a divorce case. However, the best interests are generally regarded as the actions and services that best ensure that a child is well taken care of in a healthy and secure environment. This is determined by considering a wealth of factors based on the child's and parents' circumstances.

Legal custody options in New York divorce cases

There are two types of legal custody that a court may award to the divorcing parents of a child. These are sole and joint legal custody, and before the court issues an order, each parent could make a case for the type of custody that they prefer. With sole legal custody, only one of the parents has the right to make vital decisions regarding the child. This leaves the other parent with no legal rights to make child-related decisions. These decisions include the religious values that the child is taught, the school that the child attends and the type of health care that the child receives when it is needed. The child also lives with whoever is awarded sole legal custody.

Child custody and international abduction

New York parents may benefit from learning that there are laws in place regarding scenarios in which one parent abducts a child and leaves the United States. The U.S. is a signatory to the Hague Abduction Convention, a treaty that provides a legal framework by which children may be returned home. Here, "home" means the United States, their country of habitual residence. The laws of the country where the child normally resides should be the ones determining matters of visitation and custody, according to the Convention.

Woman arrested for child abduction

In law, there is a concept known as self-help. In general, it is frowned upon by most authorities, if not outright outlawed. Repossessing a vehicle is a well-known example of self-help. Law enforcement tends to dislike such behavior because it intrudes in their function, and often if a breach of the peace occurs, it is possible for the person engaging in self-help to be found guilty of a crime.

Divorce and child custody -- Keep the focus on needs of children

New York parents who are considering a divorce are likely concerned about how to keep the individual needs of the children as the primary focus. It can be complicated to divorce when there are children involved, but considering the individual needs of a child can be common ground for both parents. It is beneficial for the children when parents can work together to fully understand what is truly best for all parties before reaching a permanent child custody arrangement.

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Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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