Major Child Custody Conundrums a Lawyer Can Help You With

Anyone who’s gone through a divorce (or any divorce lawyer) will tell you that managing child custody is one of the hardest parts of the process. In fact, the issues that come up with child custody can continue for years.

The key to resolving them as quickly as possible is to hire a family law attorney that has years of experience and knows their way around the matter like the back of their hand. Let’s take a look at some scenarios they can be useful in.A family attorney listening to her client discussing the issue.

False or Inaccurate CPS Reports

If CPS reports are being used as evidence against denying you custody of your child which are inaccurate or falsified, a lawyer can help you address it. There are many reasons for why CPS may have interacted with a parent without there being cause for concern about neglect or bad parenting.

In that case, your lawyer can help you prepare testimony around the CPS report or get CPS to declare the report unfounded. Once declared unfounded, the caseworker cannot be called to court for testimony and the report cannot be used as evidence in a trial.

Getting Custody of Nieces and Nephews

If you’re in a situation where the child you want to get custody of is your niece, nephew or even your grandchild, a lawyer is your go-to person. Usual circumstances in such cases are usually where the current guardians of the child are abusive or are neglecting their child.

Although New York courts usually prefer keeping a child in their home, a case with extraordinary circumstances could go in your favour. Abandonment, unfitness to parent, consistent neglect and abuse are all grounds for this. However, a family law attorney can assess your case and tell you how to proceed.

Dealing with a Biased Law Guardian

In the state of New York, a law guardian for your child is assigned to the case. The law guardian is supposed to put the child’s interests ahead of all other factors and appear in court to present their recommendation for custody.

However, law guardians are human and can be biased. If you have witnessed misconduct and bias towards the other party in the custody case from a law guardian and can prove it, a family law services attorney can help you make the case for changing the guardian. However, this is often difficult to do.

A lawyer working with his laptop and phone.

Traveling and Passport Troubles

When divorced parents or guardians share custody, traveling can become a bit of a sore spot, especially for relocation. Even sole custody doesn’t allow you to relocate from the state you’re in with your child. A lawyer can help file a petition or mediate between you and the other guardian and their lawyer to come to an agreement on this.

However, if the issue at hand is a simple trip but the other guardian is refusing to co-operate with passport procedures the situation is different. You can get your lawyer to ask for a waiver of parental rights on this issue so the problem goes away.

In all these cases, our family law services Brooklyn, family law services Queen and divorce attorney in Brooklyn and Divorce attorney Queens can help you out. Contact us today for help from a licensed and experienced family attorney in New York.

Child Support by Agreement

When a couple with children is in general agreement on custody and child support, the best family law advice may be to document that agreement and ensure it meets the basic requirements to be approved by the child support court. In New York State, there are two ways to complete that process.

We will review both paths to reaching a child support agreement, what guidelines such an agreement should follow, and how to get the help you need to have your agreement approved.

Reaching Your Own Child Support Agreement

Cute little girl with dad leaning over vegetable counter.

When a breakup is civil and both parents are willing to work out all details of their proposed child support plan, this is commonly referred to as “informal negotiations.” They might engage a child support attorney to put their intentions into a legal format and advise them on any changes needed to have it approved by the family court.

Taking this route can keep legal costs to a minimum while protecting the best interests of the children. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, the parents might become stuck on one or more key points and need more help to reach their goal of a mutual child support agreement.

Engaging Expert Help to Reach a Child Support Agreement

When both parents would like to create an agreement but struggle to do so on their own, they can choose Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR. This process uses tools such as mediation—where a professional mediator works with the couple to resolve the obstacles, or collaborative law—where their respective lawyers negotiate the key factors together to reach a child support agreement before going to court.

So, even if the parents cannot reach an agreement themselves, they still have an opportunity to have a say in the outcome by resolving their disagreements through the ADR process. A family law consultation is a good way to begin this procedure and find out more about the resolution tools available to you.

What Should a Child Support Agreement Cover?

Woman lifting baby into the air.

Each state has guidelines which cover minimum requirements for child support, as well as requirements to get custody of a child. When crafting your own agreement, it will have to be in line with state law, fully outline the details of payment amounts, frequency, and duration, as well as being a voluntary and informed choice for both parents.

These factors must be true and documented:

• There is an open court case between the two parents.
• Both parents are aware of their child support rights and state guidelines.
• The parents both consider the agreement to be in their children’s best interest.
• Neither party is currently on (or has applied for) public assistance.
• Both parents enter the agreement of their own free will, without being forced or pressured to sign.

Finding Legal Guidance for Child Support by Agreement

Reaching a mutual agreement about child support has the same legal backing as court-ordered child support, once it has been filed and approved. The process for changing the order or for child support enforcement remains the same.

With 32 years of collective experience in Jamaica and Queens NY, the Joseph A. Ledwidge PC law firm knows how to draft agreements that will be approved by the appropriate authorities. When you need a family law attorney who understands your mutual desire to reach your own agreement for the security of your children, call us to get started.