In an ideal world, a divorce that involves children goes rather smoothly. Of course, this would also necessitate that the divorce itself does not involve any bad blood between the involved parties. When it does, however, a custody dispute over children can turn into quite the bloodbath. All too often, this can result in a needlessly complicated child custody situation, and the best way to deal with that is to procure the services of a New York family law attorney.
How can a New York family law attorney help with a child custody dispute?
There are a lot of different factors that go into who should be given custody of the child or children between two divorcing parents. A New York family law attorney, having a rich history working in this area of law, has a significant amount of experience here, which helps you understand potential hurdles to getting custody, full or partial, of the children.
If you go into the child custody dispute without experienced child custody attorneys backing you up, you run the risk of having the outcome of the dispute be unfavorable for you. Of course, there is no guarantee that it will end in failure, but this is not a risk that you want to gamble on. A New York family law attorney can do a world of good to help you understand the process, as well as help negotiate and argue in your favor. They can also receive the arguments delivered by your spouse and/or their lawyers, and with all the experience they have, they will have an answer ready for these arguments.
A family law attorney will do everything in their power to argue for you in this custody case, using whatever information is available for use. For instance, if you are the person who spends the most time at home, and who was the most responsible for the children's upbringing, then you should logically receive custody of the children. Even with this argument, if it is not well presented, a more well-presented counterargument may win out in the end, regardless of whether it is a better argument or not. There are also certain procedures and rules that need to be followed when you are in family court, and a lawyer knows how to navigate these. Without one, you may find yourself stumbling your way through it, to the detriment of a positive outcome for your side. Mind you, just because a lawyer will represent you diligently, it does not mean that they will do so in a dishonest manner. In the grand scheme of things, the best interests of the children have to be the top priority of everyone involved. Regardless, the ultimate outcome will be based on what is the healthiest, most stable outcome, and as part of that, the parent who gets primary custody of the children is expected to receive some form of child support from the other parent, to ensure that they can continue to raise the children in the environment the children have grown used to.
Of course, that is not the only kind of scenario out there, is there? In this day and age, it is not at all uncommon that both parents have to take on a job, sometimes even more than that, in order for them to properly take care of their child. In this case, it becomes a lot more unclear as to who would be the best caregiver. In this case, they have to determine which of the two of you can do the best job providing childcare.
Another issue that will come up is, as mentioned above, the child's safety. If one parent is more inclined to consume drugs and alcohol, especially the former since many drugs are illegal, this may influence the decision, even if you are the primary caregiver. These kinds of substances create a fairly turbulent growth environment, and may result in the children lacking stability as a result. Mental health also factors in; while not all mental health issues create any serious risk of you having no chance of getting primary custody of your children, some mental illnesses will put you at a serious disadvantage. And, I assume it goes without saying, but if one partner has a history of abusing the children in any way, this would surely create a serious risk that this parent would have little to no interaction with the child. While parents have a good idea of the circumstances that would best serve their child, it is also important that the child's wishes are taken into account. If your children express a desire to live with you, this will serve as good leverage for your efforts. It is not the end all be all, but it makes a difference.