Child Custody Questions
If you are in the process of going through a divorce and there are children involved, you will also be facing issues of child custody. Some child custody questions you might be asking include “Does my child have any say in custody?” and “Where do I file a petition?” Contact our experienced New York child custody lawyers today.
Child Custody Questions | Will My Child’s Preference Be Taken into Consideration?
A child will have a “Law Guardian” who will stand on equal footing with both parents’ attorneys in the court, arguing on the child’s behalf. In the eyes of the law, a minor doesn’t have the ability – or the right – to determine his or her best interests. Just as a child under 18 cannot leave home without parental consent, so too, in child custody proceedings, the court will not in any case grant an order solely based upon a child’s wishes. That said, the older a child gets, the more weight a court will give that child’s wishes. There are no rules determining this “weight,” however – this is subject to a judge’s discretion.
Child Custody Questions | Where Can I File a Child Custody Petition?
You can file a petition of custody in any county where either parent resides. If one parent files a petition in a county inconvenient for the you, your attorney can file a motion requesting the court to designate that county an inconvenient forum, and, if granted, move the proceedings. If your attorney files such a motion, the court will consider where both parties reside, where the child resides, and where witnesses reside.
Child Custody Questions | My Spouse Won’t Follow the Arrangement
If your spouse isn’t following an Order of Custody issued in Family Court, you file a petition of enforcement through the Family Court. If the custody order was the result of a judgement of divorce, you can still file for enforcement in the Family Court so long as the Supreme Court didn’t retain exclusive jurisdiction over custody. To obtain enforcement, you will have to present the valid existing order and prove that your former spouse has failed to uphold its requirements. The court may change the initial order or take other punitive measures against the negligent parent.
If you have any more child custody questions, contact our office to consult with our experienced Saratoga child custody lawyers today.