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Temporary or Pendente Lite Child Custody and Visitation Orders

Custody There are plenty of reasons why visitation, child custody, and parenting time cases can be difficult for couples to handle. When it comes to making decisions about your future with your child, it's safe to say that emotions can often run high. Fortunately, divorce mediators and attorneys like Darren Shapiro can be on hand to help parties discuss the best options available for both themselves and their children going forward. Often, these discussions will center around what a court will consider when making decisions according to the "best interests" of a child.

The courts of New York need to consider a wide range of factors when determining visitation, parenting, and custody orders that are in the best interests of a child or children. Sometimes, it can take time for the courts to hold a full evidentiary hearing that allows both sides to present all of the evidence for their case. Until that time, the New York and Long Island courts may decide to provide temporary orders to guide the parents until a “final” order can be made. Final does not necessarily mean forever, rather it means until it is modified by a case filed in the future. In family court, these orders are named "temporary" orders, although they take on the title of "Pendent Lite" orders for supreme court divorce cases.

As family law lawyers, like Mr. Shapiro will advise his clients, final custody orders should not be made absent the parties consent until a full evidentiary hearing has taken place. If there has not been a prior determination on custody for the couple involved, then the courts will need to consider all of the factors surrounding the best interests of the child carefully. This requires clients to work with an attorney like Darren Shapiro to showcase why their suggestions for child custody, visitation or parenting time are in the best interests of the child. Since it can take months for evidentiary hearings to take place, one side or the other in a case may request a schedule for visitation and parenting until the final order is provided. Often, in this case, the courts will attempt to ensure that each side can maintain meaningful time with the children.

Providing Temporary or Pendente Lite Orders

Usually, it is the preferred method of the court to get the consent of the parents to a schedule that they can both agree to. Before these visitation or custody orders can be laid out, the courts will be required to consider things like neglect and abuse case histories for both parents, as well as any relevant warrants that may have been issued by the family or supreme courts regarding orders of protection. These searches are conducted before a schedule can be approved by the courts.

Even when providing temporary orders for visitation and parenting time, the courts are required to carefully consider the best interests of the children involved. If parties in the case do not consent to the schedule provided by the courts, then the searches outlined above may also be carried out to help the courts determine what the best temporary order may be. In Darren Shapiro's experience, the courts often attempt to maintain the status quo that the parents have already laid out for visitation and parenting schedules. However, as Mr. Shapiro will advise his clients, pending necessary hearings, and forensic examinations, parties will be at the direction of the child court when it comes to determining a solution for temporary visitation.

Usually, temporary orders in child custody and parenting time cases are not open to appeal. In some cases, the appellate court will grant permission for an appeal, but this is not common. The right to appeals of final orders exists, while non final orders usually require permission to be appealed. This could mean that the party needs to wait to appeal a final order. There's also a chance in these cases that the court will order something that goes against the status quo if they believe that there are concerns about the best interests, safety or wellbeing of the children involved when it comes to managing visitation or parenting time with either parent. Allegations made of neglect or abuse against either parent can affect temporary orders and lead to orders of protection. The New York courts may order child protective services to conduct emergency investigations that determine whether circumstances are at play that require orders of protection, supervised parenting time, or the initiation of a neglect or abuse proceeding in Family Court.

If there are circumstances that the Child Protective Services believe may lead to a finding of abuse or neglect, this can impact both the temporary and final outcomes of the orders for custody, visitation and parenting times. Courts can also hold applications for visitation and custody temporary orders in abeyance when they're awaiting the results of an order of protection or family offense case.

Temporary orders generally aren't cast aside lightly, without consent, until a final order can be put into place. If you're concerned about an upcoming temporary order for visitation, parenting, or custody time, contact Mr. Darren Shapiro today at (516) 333-6555. This office does free initial consultations, up to the first half hour is free.

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