Rochester Attorney Manages Child Custody with Faith-Based Sensitivity
Safeguarding your children and your parental rights
Your children are your most precious gift from God. But in a divorce or legal separation, you can lose your rights to raise your children as you see fit or even to have contact with them. To protect your parental rights and to safeguard the health and welfare of your children, you need experienced and determined family law representation. At the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C., we draw on more than 30 years of divorce and family law experience to help parents negotiate parenting plans that fit their family’s circumstances. Our practice favors cooperative processes, such as negotiation and mediation, to resolve disputes, because these promote healing and place less strain on your children. But when the other parent refuses to be reasonable, we can litigate aggressively to protect your rights.
The basics of New York’s child custody laws
New York law recognizes two separate and distinct forms of child custody:
- Legal custody — The authority to make decisions affecting the child’s health and welfare
- Physical custody — The rights and duties related to providing a residence for the child
Either form of custody can be held by one parent (sole) or shared by both (joint), so there are various combinations of custody possible. When physical custody is awarded to one parent, the other parent usually has visitation rights. How much time a child lives with one parent is also a significant factor influencing the amount of child support payments.
How the court decides a New York child custody case
There is no doubt you have many reasons to ask for the custody arrangement you want, but the court has only one overriding concern: the best interests of the child. To decide what kind of custody arrangement would serve your child’s best interests, the court must look at certain statutory factors, which include:
- Age, sex, and mental and physical health of the child and parents
- The emotional relationships between the child and each parent, including any history of abuse or domestic violence
- Each parent’s lifestyle, including professional demands
- The child’s typical routine
- Each parent’s ability to provide food, shelter, clothing, quality education, and medical care to the child
- The child’s preference, if the child is considered mature enough to express one
As your family law advocate, we present all the pertinent facts the court should consider when applying these factors to the case. We endeavor to be thorough and make a compelling case for the arrangement that advances your goals for raising your children.
Advantages of negotiated solutions for child custody disputes
If you take your child custody case to court, the judge will try to make a wise decision. But no matter how conscientious a judge is, he or she does not know your children the way you and the other parent do. There is always the risk of an adverse decision that could restrict your parental rights and disadvantage your children. On the other hand, when you reach a negotiated settlement, presenting a parenting plan you both agree on, you remain in control of the outcome. Since both parents have ownership of the parenting plan, you have a much greater chance of success as you implement it.
Our office also handles disputes that arise after divorce as well as child custody disputes between unmarried parents.
Contact our faith-based family law practice in Rochester for your child custody dispute
The Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester understands the emotional turmoil you experience with a child custody conflict, so we work to protect your rights while mitigating the stress of the process. Mention our website when you call us at 585-563-1134 or when you contact us online and receive a free 30-minute initial consultation.