Primary Caretaker as a Factor in Child Custody Disputes.
Often, when contemplating a child custody dispute, a parent may expect to be awarded custody of a child simply because that parent has spent more time raising or caring for the child. Depending on the circumstances, however, a court may or may not award custody to such a parent.
The New York Domestic Relations Law – which governs issues such as child custody, divorce, and other family law matters – contains the following language.
In all cases there shall be no prima facie right to the custody of the child in either parent, but the court shall determine solely what is for the best interest of the child, and what will best promote its welfare and happiness, and make award accordingly.
With this language, the New York Legislature has directed courts to award custody based on what the court believes to be in the best interests of the child. Courts consider all aspects of a child’s living arrangements and relations with parents when making custody decisions. The fact that one parent has acted as the primary caretaker of the child will certainly be taken into account. But a court will not award custody to either parent for this reason alone. This may seem unfair to some parents. But again, the court’s sole concern in custody determinations is the best interest of the child. Courts are not concerned with redressing grievances between parents, or compensating a parent for his or her investment in a child’s well-being.
If you are currently facing a child custody dispute, or are concerned that you may be facing one in the future, The Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 393 Jericho Turnpike, Suite #208, Mineola, NY 11501. Call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Family Law Attorney today!
*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS)
Separation Agreements need to be artfully drafted. Each sentence should be carefully selected. There are certain errors or omissions that can be fatal to the document’s survival. It is highly recommended that these types of agreements are drafted by or at least reviewed by an attorney. The risk of not doing so, regardless of the cost, is too great. In the last couple of days, we have seen an increased number of clients who have attempted to draft their own agreements and have come to our firm to fix them. This ends up costing more money in the long run.
We are aware that there are certain online programs that can assist you in drafting these agreements thru a data entry interface. These programs are very general and not capable of adjusting to the unique intricacies of your particular situation. Although these interfaces may be capable of pumping out a Separation Agreement in minutes, the quality is certainly declined. The validity and effectiveness of the resulting agreement is going to be questionable at best.
I understand that the economy is currently struggling and funds are hard to come by. We see it here just like every other type of business. There are certain things that need to be done correctly however. Taking shortcuts will only result in a longer and more expensive road later. So if you feel that a Separation Agreement is important to you and you would like to feel comfortable that the terms will hold up in the event that they are ever challenged; then you should seek the assistance of an attorney to draft it for you. As always, if you have any questions about Separation Agreements or Divorce in general please call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Family Law Attorney!
Divorce vs. Separation Agreement
The difficult decision between divorce vs. separation agreement is not easy to make. Many people who are interested in terminating their marital relationship are unclear about the method of doing so. They ponder whether or not they should file for divorce or simply discuss a separation agreement with their spouse. The truth is that each case is different and what may be the best thing for you may not be the best thing for someone else. This is because some couples have severe communication difficulties which makes it nearly impossible to negotiate a separation agreement. Hiring legal counsel to negotiate these agreements may help to resolve important issues more expeditiously. Attorneys may not always be able to help the couple work out their issues however. In these cases, filing for divorce may be the only realistic way of terminating a marriage. As always, you should consult with an attorney to discuss your options in detail before making any decision on which method of matrimonial termination is best for you.
Long Island Divorce Attorneys
If you are unsure about how to terminate your marriage and you have questions, please feel free to contact us today to speak with a family lawyer at (516) 858-2620!