Long Island Child Custody Lawyer

Long Island Child Custody

Divorce is a highly emotional and complicated process - not only because it involves the dissolution of a significant relationship between a couple, but also because it can result in a number of changes to an existing family dynamic. When children are involved within a relationship, or exist in an impending divorce, many couples are left uncertain about what kinds of legal rights they have to protect themselves and those children, and maintain a desirable amount of parenting time. In Long Island, many disputes regarding custody and parenting time are addressed within the courts of Nassau County and Suffolk County - meaning that residents are best served by a lawyer who has experiences navigating both environments.

Fortunately, Mr. Darren M. Shapiro - with years of experience in the process of litigating and settling custody disputes - can assist residents of Long Island as a child custody lawyer - providing affordable, yet highly-knowledgeable representation and legal advice. Though some schedules for parenting time and custody can be achieved through mutual collaboration and mediation, others require aggressive litigation - and in all cases, Mr. Shapiro is prepared to offer professional assistance. As a trained mediator, litigator, negotiator and collaborative law attorney, Mr. Shapiro can guide his clients through the positive and negative aspects of each method for negotiation, discuss the courts that are available in Nassau and Suffolk County, and answer questions that individuals may have regarding custody agreements.

Understanding Child Custody in Long Island

When Mr. Shapiro works with clients throughout Long Island to address issues of child custody - the matter may refer to physical custody (where the child will reside), or legal custody - which determines how both parents or which parent will be given the right to decide matters about the child's education healthcare, religion, and other significant decisions. Parents discussing these arrangements may choose to engage in collaborative or mediation processes that permit them to mutually agree upon results that work for both of them, and their child. However, it is worth noting that using a professional lawyer to draft these forms is essential - as they must be formally entered with the courts of Suffolk County or Nassau County, and approved after court or judicial scrutiny.

If an issue regarding custody and parenting time simply cannot be resolved by both parents during mediation or methods outside of court, a judge may be required to come to a determination. Importantly, for residents of Long Island, the courts of Suffolk County and Nassau County will have jurisdiction over matter involving children who have lived in New York State for a period of at least the prior six months (if there have not been previous custody orders), and custody can be sought for children up to the age of 18. When making decisions of this nature, the court will decide the matter using the "best interests of the child" as their legal standard. This means that the court will consider any factor that it finds relevant to the development and needs of the child – including, but not limited to drug or alcohol use by parents, a history of violence, and the health or financial situation of the parents. In some cases, parents may be required to undergo forensic evaluation undertaken by a mental health professional, and the preferences of the child may also be taken into account if they are of a maturity where they are capable of making informed, rational decisions.

Modifying Child Custody Arrangements in Long Island

Aside from helping clients to pursue initial child custody agreements during the process of a divorce or separation, Mr. Shapiro has also been involved with modifications to existing child custody and parenting matters. Crucially, these terms can only be modified if a significant change in circumstances has taken place which impacts the interests of the child. The parent who wants to change the custody order will be responsible for showing that a change in circumstances exists, and a parent with primary custody may need to get permission from the other parent or a court before they can make significant decisions - such as moving to a different location or a relocation - as this might affect the rights of parenting time or visitation held for the other parent.

Regardless of whether clients are seeking assistance with determining the best course of action for custody, visitation or parenting time for a child during their initial divorce, or a particular parent is hoping to change the outcome of a parenting time agreement, it's crucial to have the right assistance at hand. Mr. Darren M. Shapiro's local office of law and mediation can offer guidance to clients in need of child custody help, and it is located a convenient distance from both the Nassau and Suffolk County Courts in long Island. The office can be found at 99 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 300K in New York, 11753, and clients can visit by driving through exit 40 at the Long Island Expressway, or using exit 34 off the Northern State parkway. From his convenient location, Mr. Shapiro can help clients to address their custody and visitation or parenting time issues as quickly and effectively as possible – trying to limit the amount of emotional discomfort that both parents and children experience during a divorce or parenting adjustment.

Since parenting time and custody are both highly important decisions that must be made with absolute care and attention to the best interests of both you, and your children, it's essential to take the matter seriously, and pursue the best possible assistance for your needs. As an experienced child custody lawyer who has worked extensively within the courts of Nassau County and Suffolk County, Mr. Darren M. Shapiro can offer advice to residents of the Long Island area who need to make determinations regarding matters of visitation and custody. If you are interested in discussing the details of your situation further with Mr. Shapiro, and potentially asking questions about the course that your case could take, please contact us online via our available form, or get in touch by phone at (516) 333-6555. You will be able to schedule your free initial consultation (up to a half hour) at your earliest convenience, and start taking steps towards a new life for you, and your children.

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