Syracuse Child Custody Lawyer Assists Central New York Parents
Experienced attorney dedicated to the best interests of children
When going through a divorce or the end of a non-marital relationship where children are involved, custody issues can become very emotional. Like other states, New York law requires judges to determine what is in a child’s best interests when making these decisions, but that can be a very complicated analysis. At Bombardo Law Office, P.C., I am an accomplished family law attorney who is dedicated to guiding my clients through a difficult situation with the highest levels of skill, professionalism and compassion.
Firm pursues favorable terms on legal authority, residence and visitation
Finding the right child custody solution can make a positive difference for young people and their parents. My firm explains the New York laws relating to:
- Joint and sole legal custody — Though parents frequently share the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s health, welfare and upbringing, a parent might seek sole legal custody if they believe the other parent is unfit to handle that responsibility, or if the other parent will not work with you. You can maintain joint legal custody even if the child lives exclusively in one parent’s home.
- Physical custody — When a divorce or custody order mandates that a child reside with one parent, that parent has sole physical custody. Unless the parents live very close together, it can be difficult to manage a joint physical custody arrangement, especially if the child attends school. However, changes in society over the last few decades have increased the prevalence of parenting plans where a son or daughter spends significant portions of time in each home.
- Visitation — Should a child reside primarily with one parent, it is critical to develop visitation terms that give the noncustodial parent frequent, meaningful time with their child. By working closely with clients, I can create time-sharing rules that cover vacations, holidays and special family events.
Drawing on more than 27 years of experience as a New York family lawyer, I help parties overcome obstacles and find creative ways to build consensus among parents, even if they disagree on other issues.
Factors used in child custody determinations
Each child is unique and the combination of factors that go into a child custody determination depends on a young person’s particular circumstances and needs. However, when parents cannot agree, and a judge decides what is in a given child’s best interests, these factors frequently come into play:
- Income and employment — Though both parents bear financial responsibility for their child, a judge might favor a parent who has a steady job and the ability to handle unexpected expenses.
- Housing — A stable and safe home environment is an important factor in determining who the child will live with. Adequate sleeping facilities are critical and can affect custody.
- Potentially dangerous behavior — Courts look at any parental history of domestic abuse, child neglect or substance addiction when considering custody and visitation arrangements. If the behavior is bad enough, supervised visitation can be ordered. In extreme circumstances, parental contact can be barred entirely.
- Health — The health of each parent and a child’s medical condition could affect the outcome of a custody proceeding.
- Age of the child — Parents know that overall care requirements vary with age. For example, an infant who is breastfed will likely be placed with the mother since she is the source of food. On the other hand, the preference of an older child might be taken into account.
- Parent/child relationship — Everyone’s focus should be on creating the best possible environment for their son or daughter, so it’s important to get honest information about each parent/child relationship.
- School and social situation — Maintaining the child’s daily routine and establishing a parenting plan that maximizes educational, community and social opportunities is often a focus.
All of these factors and more might affect the court’s decision on custody and visitation. Each case requires a thorough evaluation of the circumstances to enable a comprehensive legal strategy to be formulated and followed to ensure that the child is placed in the safest, most physically and psychologically beneficial environment possible.
Contact a New York family lawyer for assistance with a child custody issue
Bombardo Law Office, P.C. advises clients throughout Central New York on child custody and visitation arrangements. To schedule a consultation, please call 315-488-5544 or contact me online. My office is located in Syracuse.