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Family Law Blog New City, New York

News and insights about divorce and family law in New York.

Can A Child Choose Their Custodial Parent?

You may have heard that a child can choose the parent with which they would like to live. It’s true, they can—when they turn 18. Many people believe that children can choose at a younger age, but that belief is nothing more than an urban myth.

Prior to age 18, New York children are subject to a custody order, and they have little or no say in the matter. Much depends on the circumstances of both parents, and the relationship the child has with both of them. The judge will hear what a child has to say on the matter, but it is not the sole determining factor.

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Consequences Of Violating A New York Visitation Agreement

After a relationship ends, children benefit best from an uninterrupted relationship with both of their parents. If one parent violates the visitation and/or custody agreement, it can change the child’s relationship with the parent.

Arrangements can occasionally become an obstacle when it is time for visits. It’s always important to be on time when meeting your children for scheduled visitation, whether you’re picking them up or returning them to their other parent. Even with a valid reason, the other parent will likely take notes of occasional tardiness.

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What Happens To Children of Unmarried Parents In New York When They Split?


Most people think that family law is mostly about divorce, child custody, and child support. But in addition, family law also deals with the rights of parents who are not married when their relationship ends.

In a divorce situation, the law presumes that the husband is the father of all the children. Then the family court follows the procedure to decide child custody and child support.

Because there isn’t a formal and legal relationship between the two people, there is no need for a divorce proceeding.

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How To Make Your Visitation Schedule Work During Covid-19

One of the many ways that the Covid-19 pandemic has upended families is that it has thrown many custody and visitation situations into disarray. In addition to worrying about the health of their children, some parents have the added stress of adhering to their visitation schedules in light of social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and other novel restrictions that have come as a result of the unprecedented pandemic.

Many parents are surprised to find out that, despite Covid-19-related restrictions, child custody orders are still legally binding exactly as originally ordered; parents who violate their visitation schedule without the consent of the other parent or without a temporary custody order can be found in contempt and be sanctioned by the court. Sanctions for violating a custody and visitation orders can be severe, including loss of custody.

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The 4 Basic Steps in New York’s Child Custody Mediation Process

Child custody agreements don’t have include bitter court battles; with the help of an experienced New York child custody mediator, you can achieve a custody and visitation schedule that is right for your family in just 4 easy steps.

Step 1: Choose the right mediator and have initial meeting

First, choose the best mediator for your needs. Your mediator should have experience mediating child custody cases similar to yours, be able to provide information and answer questions in an accessible way, and excel at both compromise negotiation and communication.

At your initial meeting, your mediator will discuss the mediation process including what to expect during future conversations, explain certain rules that apply to mediation such as confidentiality, and answer any questions you or your spouse may have.

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