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An Experienced Child Custody Attorney Can Protect Your Child's Best Interests

If you are facing a child custody case, an experienced child custody attorney can provide needed guidance and representation. In Nassau County , NY, and Queens, NY, David L. Martin and Sofiya Shoaib, Esq. have the skills and resources to advocate for you throughout the child custody process. Our attorneys' goals are to help ensure that your parental rights are protected while negotiating an arrangement in the best interests of the child.

Child Custody

In New York, there are two types of child custody: legal custody, and physical (or residential) custody. Physical custody is not typically joint, but if one parent has sole physical custody, in most cases, the other parent will have visitation rights. Legal custody refers to the rights and responsibilities of the parent to make decisions concerning how the child is raised. Education, medical care, religion, and discipline are some of the decisions that are included in this area. Legal custody can either be joint, where both parents equally share the rights and responsibilities, or it can be sole, where only one parent has the rights and responsibilities.

The court does not favor one parent over the other for custody issues. Rather, the court uses the “best interests of the child” standard.

Custody Agreements

A custody agreement is the document that defines the legal relationship between your child, you, and the other parent. Child custody is preferably resolved between the parties without the involvement of the court. If the parties cannot satisfactorily resolve the custody issue, the court will intervene and make the decision. The court does not favor one parent over the other for custody issues. Rather, the court uses the “best interests of the child” standard. Some other factors that the court may consider include:

  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Which parent has been the primary caretaker
  • Both parents’ schedules and availability to care for the child
  • The child’s relationships with parents, siblings, and other family members
  • The wishes of the child, if he or she is of an appropriate age
  • The physical and mental health of the parents
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate with each other
  • For special needs children, the abilities of both parents to care for the child
  • Both parents' financial ability to support the child
  • The willingness of the custodial parent to provide a meaningful relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent

Child sitting with an adult who is signing a documentCourt Process

If the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding child custody, the court will appoint an Attorney for the Child, who will represent the child’s interests in the custody proceeding. The Attorney for the Child will talk with the child, both parents, and perhaps the child’s teachers, as well as other important figures in the child’s life. Depending on various factors, the court may order both parents to undergo a forensic evaluation, which is usually conducted by a psychiatrist or psychologist. The doctor's role is to assist the court in determining which custodial arrangement is in the best interest of the child.

Resolving Custody Issues

If the parties cannot settle their disagreements, their case will proceed to trial. Child custody trials can be long and emotionally draining for all parties involved. It is imperative to have the guidance of a skilled and experienced attorney on your side. Our attorneys will agressively act in your best interests while handling every aspect of the legal process. 

Contact an Expert

We understand how important child custody arrangements are, and we will fight tirelessly for you during what can be a very difficult time. To learn more, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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