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Child Custody Attorney In Buffalo, NY

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When entering into child custody negotiations, make sure you are represented by a Buffalo divorce lawyer who not only is capable of protecting your rights as a parent, but who also invests his or herself into the protection of the well-being of your child.

We handle divorce matters that are made more complicated due to high assets. Your children won't be overlooked in the process, as we will fight to achieve the best possible child custody arrangement.

Divorce puts the most stress on the youngest members of the family, and it is best to work amicably with all parties involved in order to limit the impact of the separation or divorce on the child. In fact, the standard that the Court will use to determine child custody in the event of a hearing or trial is “the best interests of the child.”

Our team of Buffalo child custody lawyers at The Rossi Law Firm is dedicated to helping your child enter into a living situation that is best for his or her development, and provides as much emotional stability as possible.

Often there are two types of custody arrangements in these circumstances:

  • Physical custody arrangements decide where a child will live, and whether the child will share time between the parents. Factors taken into consideration when determining this include the school the child attends, the income and employment of each parent, and the ability of each parent to provide a safe and stable living environment. Physical custody could be either sole or joint.
  • Legal custody determines who is able to make healthcare decisions for the child, who is able to decide where the child attends school, and who is able to make general lifestyle decisions for the child. In most circumstances, legal custody is shared by both parents. It can also be the sole responsibility of one parent.

If you are dealing with a child custody issue, turn to our Buffalo child custody attorney for compassionate representation today.

Child Custody: Relocation Issues

After a couple obtains a divorce, circumstances will inevitably change, and the New York courts that deal with child custody issues are well aware of this fact. Sometimes, the custodial parent (the parent who has the children more of the time and receives child support) will want to relocate or move away with the children to a different county or even to a different state.

If the court believes that allowing such a move would be in the children’s best interests, the court may permit the move, even if it places a much greater distance between the children and the non-custodial parent. However, before a custodial parent relocates with the children, in most cases, he or she must first petition the court for permission.

If the parent has sole legal and physical custody, he or she may not need the court’s approval. Since the laws can be vague, it’s important to consult with a Buffalo child custody attorney before relocating with one’s children.

Understandably, a relocation application can impact the frequency of contact between children and their non-custodial parent. The court evaluates relocation cases very carefully before rendering a decision. Each case must be determined on its own merits and there are many factors, which a court will consider to determine the outcome.

Here are just some of the major factors that a judge will consider when deciding a relocation petition:

  • The reasons for the move.
  • The good faith of requesting or opposing the move.
  • The child’s relationship with each parent respectively.
  • The quality of the lifestyle the child would have if move permitted, or denied.
  • The child’s ties to school, extended family, friends, and the community.
  • The advantages of permitting such a move.
  • The actual child custody and visitation arrangement, not necessarily what is outlined in the child custody and visitation schedule.
  • The economic advantages of permitting the move.
  • The educational advantages of permitting the move.
  • The effect the move may have on extended family relationships.
  • What the child desires to do (based on maturity).

What Are the Possible Outcomes?

Relocation cases may have different outcomes; for example, the judge may decide that permitting the move would not be in the children’s best interests. In that case, a change in custody may be in order. This usually happens when the children have a strong bond with the non-custodial parent and he or she can provide a loving and stable environment for their children. If the children are older and do not wish to move, there is a greater chance of a change in custody; however, this is not guaranteed.

In some cases, the move is approved by the court, especially when the children have been out of contact with the non-custodial parent, or when the move will significantly benefit the children educationally and economically. Often, relocation applications are approved when a custodial parent is remarrying and improving his or her circumstances significantly.

Other times, a parallel move is in order. In these situations, the non-custodial parent decides to move too. This will typically occur when the non-custodial parent is close to the children and can easily find employment in the new location.

Modifying Child Custody Arrangements

If you or your former spouse intends to move, you may need to revisit the terms of your arrangement. Depending on the distance of the move, the case may need to enter into more formal negotiations. Sometimes, legal custody arrangements need not change; however, an increased distance between the families often necessitates renegotiation of physical custody arrangements.

Other circumstances which can lead to modifying the arrangement include:

  • Change in either parent's income or employment status
  • Medical needs of child
  • Disability of a parent

Schedule a consultation with our Buffalo child custody attorneys to determine the steps you need to take to appropriately modify your child custody arrangement after a complex divorce.

Fighting for child custody? Call us today at (716) 854-5555 to discuss your case with an experienced Buffalo child custody lawyer.

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