Child Custody Attorneys in Binghamton
Experienced Family Law Attorneys
While both partners in a divorce are ready to move on separately with their lives, they both often have a shared love of their children which makes child custody matters one of the most challenging aspects of divorce. The team at Jackson Bergman, LLP provides compassionate legal counsel and aggressive court representation to pursue an optimal outcome for you and your child.
Call (607) 367-7055 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our Binghamton child custody lawyers. During this initial case review, we can help you understand your rights and legal options.
Custody Options in New York
Matters relating to child custody and child visitation can be vigorously contested. One of the first issues to be addressed is whether there will be sole custody or joint custody. And, if joint custody, a determination must be made as to whether it will be joint legal custody and/or joint physical custody.
The distinctions between the various types of custody include:
- Sole physical custody: The child lives with only one parent and the non-custodial parent will have access to the child according to a set visitation schedule
- Joint physical custody: The child lives with both parents at various times
- Sole legal custody: Only one parent is given the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and religion
- Joint legal custody: Both parents work together to decide what is best for their child in all the major areas of their upbringing
After the custody matter is resolved, a decision must be made as to which parent will have primary residence or whether there will be no designation of a primary residence. Then the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights/privileges will need to be addressed. Visitation can be a complicated matter all by itself.
Visitation Laws in New York State
Our legal team, at Jackson Bergman, LLP, prides itself, when representing the non-custodial parent, in protecting the visitation rights/privileges of our clients and to forecast future issues. Although there may be a basic, set visitation schedule, thought, creativity, and reasonable prediction must be afforded to special days (for example birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, etc.), uninterrupted vacation time, holidays (for example Christmas Eve night into Christmas Eve morning), and so on.
Our team welcomes the opportunity to meet with you during our complimentary in-depth consultation where we will cover topics such as:
- Sole vs. Joint custody
- Past history that could impact outcome
- Mediation vs. court decision
- Visitation rights
- Child support modifications
- Navigating New York's CSSA rules
Child Custody & New York's CSSA Guidelines
In the State of New York, the courts will implement and utilize what is known as the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) when calculating the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation. The CSSA sets forth a formula to calculate the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation, uses percentages based upon the number of children, and provides reasons a court can exercise its discretion for a downward or upward deviation. It is the gray area of the CSSA which affords courts room for a deviation, which can be complicated, and our legal team understands and aggressively fights for our clients’ rights when in that gray area. For our custodial clients, we have been successful in securing the most amount of child support available. For our non-custodial clients, we have been successful in securing significant downward deviations.
The non-custodial parent, in the State of New York, is required to provide child support until such time as the child is emancipated under the laws of our State. The most common way for a child to be emancipated is to reach the age of 21 (in the State of New York). Other ways a child will be deemed emancipated, prior to reaching 21 years of age, are for him or her to enter the military or become married.
Even when child support is initially resolved, there are many times when there are future issues. For example, there are child support modification proceedings where one parent is either seeking an increase in child support or a decrease in child support. Child support modification proceedings are, more often than not, handled in family court by a support magistrate. There can be times when a custodial or non-custodial parent files a petition for a violation of a court order for child support. This process, too, can be complicated and the family lawyers at Jackson Bergman, LLP, can navigate you through these waters.
Issues Relating to Equitable Distribution, Child Custody & Child Visitation
Whether by judicial determination or through effective negotiations, many issues can factor into the ultimate outcome of sole versus joint custody, primary residency, visitation privileges, and equitable distribution.
Some of these many factors are as follows:
- Primary caretaker
- Physical and mental health of each parent
- History of domestic violence
- History of drug/alcohol abuse
- History of criminal convictions
- History of family offense petitions
- History of orders of protection
- History of child protective services (CPS) indicated reports
- Child’s wishes
- Parenting skills
- Ability of each parent to foster and enhance the child’s relationship with the other parent
The above list is a sampling of the matters your legal team at Jackson Bergman, LLP, can discuss with you and possibly investigate to provide you the most effective and aggressive representation possible.
The Best Interests of the Child Standard
In any New York child custody case, the primary concern of the court must always be the welfare and best interests of the child. This means that the parents’ rights are secondary to the interests and well-being of the child. When deciding child custody matters, the court used the best interest of the child standard. The court will take numerous factors into consideration to determine what the child’s best interest is. Our family law attorneys can help you present a compelling case to the judge that protects your parental rights and helps you achieve the right outcome for your family.
Work with Our Team of Experienced Binghamton Child Custody Attorneys
When you work with the legal team at Jackson Bergman, LLP, you don’t just have one lawyer working on your case. You have an experienced team of lawyers working collaboratively to help you secure a favorable custody arrangement.
Please call us at (607) 367-7055 to set up a complimentary consultation and we’ll set up a time for you to come in and talk to our experienced team.