Child Custody and Visitation

Custody

Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. has successfully litigated and settled numerous custody and parenting time (visitation) cases in the Supreme and Family Courts on Long Island, Queens, and the New York City area. Whether he is your mediator or attorney, Darren can explain the different types of custody and parenting time arrangements that are possible for your situation. He brings his years of courtroom experience and knowledge to bear upon your case as a mediator, attorney, or collaborative lawyer. He is a patient listener that will also make sure that you are heard. It is important to know what options exist in order to determine the best choice for you and your family.

Perhaps, equally important, is choosing when to litigate, negotiate, collaborate, or a combination of actions. Darren is a tough litigator, but is always willing to negotiate terms that are reasonable and make sense for his clients. As your attorney, Darren is particularly sensitive to helping his clients select the right choice at the right times. If parents, and other caretakers, can come together to make arrangements that are best suited for their specific family, it is a victory for everyone involved. The mediation and collaborative processes are designed to facilitate agreements, with dignity, for the families that choose these routes. Darren is a trained and certified mediator, and collaborative law attorney to help to best be of service.

When the other side of a case refuses to be reasonable, then it is clear that litigation is the right next move. As a veteran of many trials, Darren can fight your battle. Settlements can be made at any time during a litigated child custody case. Sometimes, people need a court to decide the matter after a hearing or trial. In divorces, a Supreme Court Justice will decide the open issues about custody and parenting time. The family court is available for custody cases when a divorce is not pending. This office handles custody issues in divorces, post judgment custody matters, and the family court. When it is time to be aggressive, Darren will fight hard for you.

As we strive to do in all areas of family law that this office handles, we want to get a resolution on child custody issues as soon as possible. If custody and visitation matters are unresolved, however, there is probably no more important area to focus upon. We will take whatever time is necessary to talk through these issues with you and the other side as long as everyone is willing. Simultaneously, we will remain vigilant to the goal of getting a positive result and putting your custody problems in the past expeditiously. In other words, we know that the time spent on the case, and your time, matters.

The best interests of children control in determining issues involving children. Custody and parenting time, or visitation orders, can be sought for children up to eighteen years of age in New York. Courts frequently appoint attorneys to represent the children in order to advocate for what the children want in a case. Presently they are called attorneys for the children. They used to be known as Law Guardians. In the case of babies or very young children, it is usually appropriate for the attorney for the child to make their own determination of what is in the children’s best interest. The attorney for the children should then advocate for that.

Forensic investigations by psychological professionals, with expertise in child custody matters, are often ordered by a court. Other tools such as home studies, court ordered investigations, and drug tests can often be appropriate. Since Darren has applied these tools in many of his cases, he can help make the best use of them in your case if they are necessary.

There are various forms of custody arrangements. Sole custody is a situation where the child resides with the parent that also has legal custody or decision making authority over the child. In joint legal custody, which is also a possibility, the parents need to make decisions together for the child. Shared custody, although less common, is an arrangement where children spend equal time with each parent.

Usually, a parenting time (visitation) schedule is made as part of a child custody order or stipulation. Neither the mother nor the father enjoys a presumption under the law that children should reside with them. Upon a substantial change of circumstances, modifications of custody and parenting time may be sought. Then, it is up to you and your lawyer to convince a court that what you want is in the children’s best interests.

This law office cares deeply about the parental rights of its clients and fights hard to protect them. Please call to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation
Office Phone Number