If you have decided to end your marriage and you have children, you will need to address issues of child custody and child support. Likewise, if you are unmarried, but have children, there may come a time when legal action is necessary to protect your rights regarding child custody, parenting time and access to child support.
Protecting Your Parental Rights And The Best Interests Of Your Children
At Judd & Moss, P.C., matrimonial and family law is all we do — all day and every day. When you work with our law firm, we will ensure that your parental and financial rights are protected, while at the same time work to uphold the best interests of your children.
Issues we are well-positioned to resolve include:
Our lawyers understand that maintaining a meaningful parent-child relationship is important for both parents after a divorce or separation. We work with our clients to identify their specific custody goals, which will allow both parents to actively participate in raising the children. As your legal counsel, we will help you explore options for physical custody (the parent with whom the children will live), legal custody (the right of both parents to make legal, medical, religious and educational decisions for their children), and visitation (parenting time granted to the noncustodial or nonresidential parent).
In determining primary physical custodian of the children, the courts may consider:
- Who has been the primary caretaker
- The relative fitness of the parties
- Which parent is most likely to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent
- The quality of the environment each parent can provide
- The wishes of a child of sufficient age and maturity
A common issue in child custody revolves around relocation. This is when a custodial or residential parent’s wish to move with the children would impair the other parent’s ability to exercise his or her visitation or parenting rights. Obviously, these can be highly contested matters. Our attorneys can help assess the viability of a relocation request and aggressively promote or defend your position.
If your children live with you most of the time, you are entitled to child support. A proceeding can be brought in the Supreme Court as part of your divorce or separation action. If you are unmarried, or married but not ready to proceed to divorce or separation, a proceeding can be brought in the Family Court. We can help you understand the statutory formula for child support in New York, as well as the mandatory additions for child care, medical insurance and expenses, and educational expenses.
If you already have a child support order, but you are not receiving payments, our lawyers can help you bring an enforcement action to collect on the arrears. Likewise, if your co-parent is not complying with the terms of a child custody agreement and your parenting time is being affected, we can help you obtain a legal remedy.
If you or one of your children has experienced a significant change in circumstances since the order for custody or child support, you may be entitled to a modification of that order. Changes that may warrant a change in a support order may include a job loss, a significant increase in income, the passage of three years since the date of the last child support order, illness that affects the payor’s ability to work. Changes that may warrant a of custody/visitation orders can include the onset or recovery of chemical dependency, a relocation, abuse or neglect of a child, a child’s failure to thrive in the present custodian’s care. There have been recent changes to the law regarding modifications in New York, and we can help you understand how this may affect your position.
Contact Our Knowledgeable And Compassionate Attorneys
Restructuring your parent-child relationships after divorce or separation is not only complex, it is also emotionally difficult. At Judd & Moss, P.C., we provide the aggressive legal advocacy you need, and the supportive service you deserve to keep your new agreements centered on the best interests of your children. Contact our firm online through this website or call 631-615-1758 to schedule a free initial consultation.