There is no doubt that divorces in Rochester, NY can be difficult for spouses. While most seek amicable resolutions, the process is often filled with emotions. These range from anxiety and stress to sadness and anger. However, the impacts of a divorce extend far beyond the decisions of the parents. Eventually, they will also extend to the children. Children of divorcing parents are often left with whatever decisions their parents or a court feel are right for them. It is important in any divorce settlement involving children to make decisions that will be most beneficial for the child.
No matter how each spouse feels about the other, many are willing to set their differences aside. They will often work to make the right decisions for their children. At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., our child custody attorneys know how important the role of each parent is in the child’s life. You may be starting the divorce process. Perhaps you are seeking changes to a current child custody agreement. No matter the situation, we want to put your and your child’s interests first. We help you understand the benefits and challenges of joint custody agreements. With our help, you can make the most optimal decision for your situation.
When both parents have legal custody of the child, it is known as joint custody. A custody ruling is critical for parents. It determines who can make decisions on behalf of the child for things like medical care, education, and religious practices. It does not matter with whom the child lives or how much visitation is granted to the other parent. If there is a determination of joint custody, both parents have a say. They must both agree upon major decisions that affect the child.
The other ways in which custody may be determined include sole or shared custody. In sole custody, one parent is completely responsible for making decisions on behalf of the child. Shared custody, while sounding similar to joint custody, is different. Parents still split the decision-making. However, they are assigned specific areas of the child’s life that they will have decision-making authority over.
The greatest benefit of awarding joint custody to parents is that they both keep and remain an active role in their child’s life. Whether a parent is physically present or not every day, their relationship with their child can continue to grow, as long as it is not considered detrimental to their physical or emotional health.
Whether joint custody is granted to parents is determined by a few considerations, including:
If you wish to have joint custody, the most beneficial option is to work with your spouse. You both must show that you each have the child’s interests in mind. You must also demonstrate that you can reach important decisions together.
When parents share joint custody of a child, there are no rules that dictate how far one parent may move away from the other. The situations in each joint custody case are unique. However, initial parenting plans will establish a limited geographical area that fits with the decisions of the custody order. If a parent wishes to extend beyond that area, they may do so. However, they must go through a court process. This will review the reasons for the move and how it may impact the child.
If necessary, a father must first establish paternity. Once this is done, the father is granted the same rights as the mother. There are no special rules that apply to one parent over the other. Fathers have the right to custody, visitation, and a relationship with their children as long as it is healthy for the child. Those rights also grant the child access to their father’s health insurance plans, social security benefits, and many others.
Generally speaking, a child may always voice their opinion. However, the weight of that opinion is determined by the court overseeing the matter. The court is most likely to listen to those aged 16 or 17. Nevertheless, if the court feels they are making an unreasonable choice or have serious problems, they may disregard their wishes. As the age decreases, there is less and less weight applied to the opinion of the child.
New York is not a 50/50 state when determining custody arrangements for children. Many courts prefer to reach agreements that attempt to keep the parents equally involved in the child’s life. However, there is no rule or law that says it is necessary. The quickest way to guarantee a 50/50 custody split for spouses is to reach an amicable agreement outside of court.
Whether you are divorcing or seeking a modification to your standing parenting agreement, you deserve the representation that will keep you and your child’s interests in mind. At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., our child joint custody lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you reach the outcome you desire. Your child deserves the most from you, and you deserve the most from us. Contact our offices today and let us help you with your child custody case.
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