Rochester Interstate Child Custody Lawyer

Rochester Interstate Child Custody Lawyer

Rochester Interstate Child Custody Attorney

One of the most inevitable aspects of divorce is change. The norms and expectations you have become accustomed to in your marriage will no longer be the same as you and your partner split ways and begin to build new lives. While one parent typically keeps a residence in the family home, the other will relocate. Sometimes this is down the road or in the same town, but other times it may be in a different state. In these scenarios, an extra layer of interstate child custody laws and regulations comes into play. Navigating these laws can be difficult, as they vary from state to state. This is where an experienced Rochester, NY interstate child custody lawyer comes in.

rochester interstate child custody attorney

At Trotto Law Firm, our legal team has experience handling a wide range of child custody cases, both in New York and across state lines. We understand the ins and outs of the law and can help you seek the best possible outcome for your case. From day one, we will passionately work tirelessly on your behalf to help you secure details of the custody arrangement that will best support your child. Our philosophy is that children should have the opportunity to maintain relationships with both parents, even if they live in different states. Whether you are fighting for primary custody of your children or working to establish a visitation schedule that works for everyone, we will be by your side every step of the way.

What is Interstate Child Custody?

Interstate child custody occurs when one parent lives in a different state than the other parent and is seeking custody or visitation rights of their child or children. In these cases, both state and federal laws come into play. The first step in any interstate child custody case is to determine which state’s laws will be used. This is done by using the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).

rochester interstate child custody lawyer

The UCCJEA is a law that was created to help prevent parents from shopping around for the most favorable custody laws in different states. The law establishes guidelines for which state’s laws will be used in interstate child custody cases as well as how those cases should be handled.

The Three Criteria for Interstate Child Custody

Three main criteria are used to determine which state’s laws will be applied in an interstate child custody case:

  1. The “home state” criterion: This criterion gives priority to the state where the child has lived for the past six months. In cases where the child has physically lived in multiple states within the past six months, priority is given to the state where the child has lived for the most prolonged period.
  2. The “significant connection” criterion: If the child does not have a home state or if the child has not lived in any singular state for at least six months, the court will look to see if there is another state where the child has a “significant connection.” This criterion looks at factors such as the child’s family, school, and community ties.
  3. The “emergency” criterion is used when it is necessary to make a custody determination to protect the child from abuse, neglect, or danger.

If your ex-spouse has relocated and you are now involved in an interstate child custody case, consult with a Rochester child custody lawyer who can help you navigate the law and determine what is best for your child.

Common Challenges in Interstate Child Custody Cases

Many common challenges can arise in interstate child custody issues. Some of these include:

  • Lack of Cooperation from the Other Parent: One of the most common challenges in interstate child custody cases is when the other parent is uncooperative. This can make it very difficult to agree on custody and visitation schedules and makes it harder to ensure that the child is able to spend time with both parents. In these cases, it is often necessary to involve a third party, such as a mediator or attorney, to help facilitate communication and come to an agreement.
  • Distance Between the States: A complicating factor in interstate child custody cases is the distance between the states. This can make it difficult for any child to spend time with both parents and can also make it more difficult to coordinate custody and visitation schedules. Creative solutions, such as video conferencing, parenting time exchanges, or summer vacation schedules, can often help to overcome this challenge.
  • Differing Parenting Styles: A problem that often occurs in interstate child custody cases is when the parents have different parenting styles. This makes it difficult for the child to adjust to different parenting styles and can also make it harder to come to an agreement on custody, visitation schedules, or varying punishment styles that can confuse a child when they try to navigate two different homes. In these cases, it is often necessary to seek the assistance of a parenting coach, therapist, or other professional to help the parents learn to communicate and co-parent effectively.
  • Lack of Communication: Communication challenges are not unique to interstate child custody cases, but the distance between the parents can often magnify them. The parents need to make an effort to communicate regularly, whether through text, email, phone calls, or video calls, in order to stay up-to-date on the child’s activities, school progress, and any other important news.
  • Financial challenges: In interstate child custody cases, it is common for parents to have financial challenges. This can be due to the cost of travel, the cost of living with a singular income, or other financial burdens. In these cases, it is often necessary for the parents to seek the assistance of a financial planner or attorney to help them navigate these challenges.

Overall, if not anticipated and dealt with proactively, any of these issues can make an already difficult situation even more challenging. However, with the help of Rochester divorce attorneys, these problems can often be overcome, and an agreement can be reached that is in the child’s best interests.

How To Discuss Your Interstate Child Custody Case With Your Children

Interstate child custody cases can be some of the most difficult to deal with, both emotionally and logistically. Here are some tips on how to discuss interstate child custody orders with your children.

  1. Keep the lines of communication open.
    From the initial stages of your divorce or separation, make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your children. This will help to make the process of discussing an interstate child custody case less daunting for them. If they don’t have any questions right away, that’s okay. Just letting them know that they can come to you with any questions they have will help to ease their minds.
  2. Reassure them that they are loved.
    One of the biggest fears children have during an interstate child custody case is that one or both of their parents will no longer love them. Reassure them that this is not the case and that you will always love them no matter what happens. Support your vocal reassurance with physical affection, such as hugs and kisses.
  3. Explain the situation in age-appropriate terms.
    The details of your interstate child custody case will likely confuse your children, so it’s important to explain the situation to them in age-appropriate terms. This might mean keeping the explanation simple for younger children and avoiding legal jargon. Older children may want more details, so be prepared to answer their questions as best you can.
  4. Keep them involved in the decision-making process.
    If possible, involve your children in the decision-making process surrounding your interstate child custody case. This will help them to feel like they have a say in what happens, which can be empowering for them. Of course, the adults involved should make the final decision, but including your children in the conversation can help ease their anxiety.
  5. Seek professional help.
    If anyone in your family unit struggles to cope with the stress of an interstate child custody case, seek professional help. A therapist or child counselor can provide much-needed support and guidance during this difficult time that you might not be able to give on your own.

FAQs About Rochester, NY Interstate Child Custody Law

How Does a Child Custody Agreement Work in Rochester?

Custody is decided based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider multiple factors when determining custody, including the child’s relationship with both parents, each parent’s home environment, the child’s wishes (if the child is old enough to express a preference), and each parent’s ability to care for the child. Once a custody determination is made, it can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances.

How Does Joint Custody Work?

Joint custody equal responsibility and say regarding major decisions for the child’s education, health care, religious upbringings, and extracurricular activities. Joint custody does not always mean the child will spend equal time with each parent, but it does indicate that they will have a say in major decisions about the child’s life.

What Age Can a Child Decide Where to Live?

A child is legally an adult at the age of 18 and can make their own decisions about where to live. However, in some cases, the court may consider the child’s wishes when making a custody determination. For example, if the child is 16 years old and has strong feelings about which parent they want to live with, the court may give weight to the child’s preference.

How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for Child Custody in Rochester?

The cost of a lawyer for an interstate child custody case in New York will vary depending on the complexity of the case and the lawyer’s experience. Generally, an attorney will charge an hourly rate. Factors such as the number of court appearances and the amount of time needed to prepare for the case can affect the total cost. In some cases, a lawyer can provide a free consultation to help you determine whether you need legal assistance, which can be a great value for those who cannot afford a large upfront fee.

What If the Other Parent Refuses to Follow the Custody Order?

If the other parent refuses to follow the custody order, you can file a contempt of court action. This is a legal proceeding in which the court can impose penalties on the parent who is not following the order. The penalties can include a fine, jail time, or increased child support payments. In some cases, the court may also order make-up time for the parent who was denied visitation.

Contact Trotto Law Firm Today

Both parents want what is best for their children, but agreeing what that is can be challenging, especially when it involves something as important as custody. If you are involved in an interstate child custody case, it is important to have experienced family law attorneys on your side. At Trotto Law Firm, we have represented many Rochester clients in interstate child custody cases and can help you navigate the legal process. One of the most special things that we do is an advocate for the best interests of our client’s children. We understand how important it is for children to have a strong relationship with both parents, and we will work tirelessly to help you achieve that goal. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.

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