Child Custody Modifications in Syracuse, NY
Experienced attorney protects your interests when changes are sought
Your children are constantly growing, so it’s unrealistic to expect your child custody order to meet your needs indefinitely. Your life, too, might take a turn in an unexpected direction, prompting a need for modification of your custody order. When that need arises, it’s generally best to re-examine your parenting plan and request new terms from the court. At Bombardo Law Office, P.C., I have been helping parents with child custody modifications for decades. I represent parents petitioning for changes as well as parents who want to enforce the status quo. When you choose me as your advocate, you get a knowledgeable, seasoned family law attorney. You also get a skillful negotiator and a determined fighter for your rights.
Understanding child custody modification laws
The New York courts do not encourage parents to run to court every time there’s a slight disagreement over custody. However, courts will entertain requests for modifications when there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” Such changes can include:
- A custodial parent taking a more demanding job
- A custodial parent entering into a cohabitating relationship
- A custodial parent wanting to relocate with the children
- A noncustodial parent overcoming previous obstacles to custody
- A parent becoming unfit or incapacitated due to substance abuse, illness or injury
- The child’s desire to spend more time with another parent
The overriding consideration for the court is the best interests of the child. In deciding on a modification request, the court considers all relevant factors affecting the child’s welfare.
How can a lawyer help in a child custody modification?
A child custody lawyer can be extremely helpful to your case, whether you are seeking a modification or opposing it. In my practice, I often negotiate and draft new custody agreements that parents can present to the court for approval, saving the time and expense of a hearing. When negotiations reach an impasse, I often bring my clients success in mediation. As a last resort, if the issue goes to trial, I employ my skill and experience to present a compelling case for the results my clients need.
What needs to be shown to modify a child custody order?
Since judges decide modification requests based on the best interests of the child, you must show that the outcome you seek is better for the child than the alternative the other parent desires. Judges generally want to know if the child will be happier, healthier, safer and more well-adjusted at school under one plan or the other. If a proposed change places an unreasonable burden on one parent’s rights, the benefits to the child must be substantial enough to override that consideration.
What is the process for child custody modification in New York?
The parent seeking modification must file a motion in the Supreme Court of New York. It is advisable to have an attorney draft and file the motion. The motion and a summons must be served on the other parent. At a preliminary hearing, the judge will determine whether the matter should go to mediation or proceed to trial. But while these formalities are happening, you can be working with your attorney to draft a proposed parenting plan and negotiate a resolution with the other parent. In many cases, parents are able to present a new custody agreement to the court and avoid trial.
Contact an effective Syracuse, New York lawyer for child custody modifications
Bombardo Law Office, P.C. in Syracuse represents Central New York parents in child custody disputes during and after divorce. Please call 315-800-4002 or contact me online to schedule a meeting to discuss your legal options.