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Family Law Blog New City, New York

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

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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The Effect of Alcohol and Drug Use on New York Custody Cases

Whether you are concerned about the alcohol or drug use of the parent of your child, or your own use has been questioned, alcohol and drug use can impact your New York custody case.

The use of drugs and alcohol can affect the entire family; however, the impact of parental alcohol or drug abuse can be especially devastating to a child. Like all legal cases involving children, the court’s objective is to come to a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. Because parental substance abuse can deprive the child of stability, safety, and a healthy relationship with the using parent, the court takes parental drug and alcohol use seriously.

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Child Custody in New York

Custody refers to the legal right to care for a child. A New York court may make custody determinations if a child has resided in the state for a minimum of six months. There are two types of custody that a New York court can assign: legal custody and residential custody. Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make decisions for a child. Residential custody is where a child will live. The court may make decisions about the custody of a child until the child is 18 years old. The court makes all custody decisions based on what it believes is in the best interest of the child, and does not favor one parent over the other on the basis of gender.  The custody decisions may be made either by a judge or referee at trial, or in an agreement reached by both parents through the voluntary mediation process.

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