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Child Custody Lawyer In New York City

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Compassionate Legal Support for Your Family

At Cedeño Law Group, PLLC, we understand that disputes over child custody are among family law’s most challenging and emotional aspects. Navigating the complexities of custody arrangements and ensuring the best interests of your children come first requires experienced legal guidance. Our dedicated child custody lawyers in NYC are here to offer you the support, advice, and representation you need during this difficult time.

Who Gets Custody of the Children in a New York Divorce?

Child Custody Lawyer In New York City

For anyone navigating child custody proceedings in New York, understanding these aspects and seeking legal guidance can be crucial to achieving a fair and beneficial outcome for the child involved. Each case’s unique circumstances will influence the custody decision, with the child’s best interests always at the forefront of considerations.

Custody Decision Criteria

  • Best Interests of the Child: The paramount consideration.
  • Legal and Physical Custody: Involves the right to make decisions for the child and the child’s living arrangements, respectively.

Decision Factors

  • Parental Ability: Stability, physical and mental health.
  • Child’s Preferences: Considered if the child is of sufficient age and maturity.
  • Home Environment: Safety, stability, and nurturing quality.
  • Primary Caregiver: The role of each parent before the divorce.
  • Substance Abuse: Impact on parental fitness.
  • Financial Stability: Though not the sole factor, it’s considered to provide a stable environment.
  • Siblings: Preference for keeping siblings together.


  • Court Evaluation: Involves hearings and assessments by caseworkers and attorneys for the child.
  • Child’s Attorney and Caseworker: Assess preferences, home environment, and parental fitness.
  • Judge’s Private Consultation: With the child, if necessary.


  • Joint or Sole Custody: Based on the child’s best interests.
  • Visitation Rights: For the non-custodial parent.
  • Child Support: Paid by the non-custodial parent to support the child’s living expenses.

How Can a Child Custody Lawyer in NYC Help?

A child custody lawyer in NYC can provide invaluable assistance in various ways to parents navigating the complexities of custody disputes or arrangements. Here’s how they can help:

1. Understanding New York Custody Laws

A child custody lawyer knows New York’s specific custody laws and regulations. They can explain the legal distinctions between different types of custody, such as legal custody (the right to make major decisions about the child’s welfare) and physical custody (where the child lives). Understanding these nuances is crucial for making informed decisions.

2. Developing a Custody Strategy

Based on their understanding of your situation, a child custody lawyer can help develop a strategy that aligns with your goals and your child’s best interests. This involves considering various factors, including each parent’s relationship with the child, needs, and any special circumstances that might affect the case.

3. Negotiation and Mediation

Many custody disputes can be resolved without going to court through negotiation or mediation. A family lawyer can represent your interests in these discussions, aiming for a fair and workable custody arrangement that avoids the stress and uncertainty of a court battle.

4. Litigation Support

A child custody lawyer is prepared to litigate on your behalf if an amicable agreement cannot be reached. They will gather evidence, prepare legal documents, and argue your case in court to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your child.

5. Handling Complex Issues

Custody cases can involve complex issues, such as allegations of domestic violence, relocation plans, or international custody disputes. A skilled lawyer can navigate these challenges, protecting your rights and child’s welfare.

6. Modifications and Enforcement

Life circumstances change, and a once-worked custody arrangement may no longer be suitable. A child custody lawyer can help you petition to modify the custody order or assist with enforcement if the other parent is not adhering to the agreement.

7. Emotional Support and Guidance

Beyond legal assistance, a child custody lawyer can also provide emotional support and guidance during a stressful and emotionally charged process. They can offer objective advice and help you make decisions that are in your child’s best interest.

8. Ensuring Compliance with Court Procedures

The legal process involves specific procedures, deadlines, and documentation. A lawyer ensures that all legal filings are accurate, complete, and timely, reducing the risk of delays or unfavorable decisions due to procedural errors.

9. Advocating for the Child’s Best Interests

Above all, a child custody lawyer advocates for the child’s best interests, which is the central concern in any custody case. They work to ensure that the outcome of the custody dispute supports the child’s health, safety, and well-being.

Who Pays Child Support if We Have Joint Child Custody?

Child support obligations still apply when parents have joint custody in New York. Typically, the parent with the higher income is considered the non-custodial parent for the purpose of child support and is required to pay support to the other parent. This is based on the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) guidelines, which aim to ensure that both parents contribute to the child’s upbringing relative to their financial ability. The court may adjust the child support amount based on factors like each parent’s income, the child’s needs, and the time the child spends with each parent. The goal is to balance the financial contributions of both parents to meet the child’s needs, regardless of the custody arrangement.

Why Choose Cedeño Law Group, PLLC, for Your Child Custody Case?

  • Experienced Representation: With years of focused experience in family law, our lawyers deeply understand New York custody laws and how to navigate them effectively.
  • Child-Centered Approach: We prioritize the well-being and best interests of your children, advocating for custody arrangements that foster their happiness, security, and development.
  • Personalized Attention: Every family is unique. We provide tailored legal strategies designed to meet your family’s specific needs and goals.
  • Negotiation and Mediation Experience: We strive to resolve custody disputes amicably through negotiation and mediation, reducing the emotional and financial strain on your family.
  • Litigation Readiness: When court intervention is necessary, our skilled litigators are prepared to vigorously represent your interests and fight for the custody arrangement you believe is best for your children.

Contact Us Today for a Consultation

If you’re facing a child custody battle, you don’t have to go through it alone. The dedicated child custody lawyers at Cedeño Law Group, PLLC in NYC are here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring your rights are protected and your children’s best interests are served.

Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation. Let us help you find the best path forward for your family.

Child Custody Lawyer NYC FAQs

1. What types of child custody are recognized in New York?

In New York, there are two main types of custody: legal custody, which pertains to the right to make major decisions about the child’s welfare, and physical custody, which refers to where the child lives. Both can be awarded jointly or to one parent exclusively.

2. How does the court decide custody?

The court’s primary consideration is the child’s ” best interests.” Factors include the child’s needs, each parent’s ability to care for the child, the child’s relationship with each parent, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

3. Can custody orders be modified?

Yes, custody orders can be modified if a significant change in circumstances affects the child’s best interests. This can include changes in a parent’s living situation, employment, health, or the child’s needs.

4. What is joint custody? Does it require equal time with each parent?

Joint custody can refer to either legal or physical custody and does not necessarily require equal living time with each parent. It means parents share responsibilities and/or living arrangements for the child. The specifics depend on the court’s order or the parents’ agreement.

5. How is child support affected by custody arrangements?

Child support is determined by the Child Support Standards Act in New York, considering the parents’ incomes and the child’s needs. Custody arrangements can influence the required support, with non-custodial parents typically paying support to custodial parents. However, the higher-earning parent may still owe child support in joint custody cases.

6. What if we can’t agree on custody?

If parents cannot agree on custody, the court will decide for them after evaluating all relevant factors to determine what arrangement serves the child’s best interests. Mediation is often recommended before the court makes a decision.

7. Can a custody decision be appealed?

Yes, custody decisions can be appealed if one parent believes the decision was made in error or without considering all relevant facts. Appeals must be filed within a specific timeframe and require a legal basis to be considered.

8. How long does the custody process take in NYC?

The duration of the custody process can vary widely depending on the case’s complexity, whether the parents can reach an agreement and the court’s schedule. Cases can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.

9. Do grandparents have visitation rights in New York?

Yes, grandparents can petition for visitation rights in New York under certain circumstances. The court will consider the best interests of the child in these cases as well.

10. What should I look for in a child custody lawyer?

Look for a lawyer with experience in family law and child custody cases, a good track record, and someone who communicates clearly and empathetically. It’s important to choose someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.

Child custody cases can be complex and emotionally challenging. That’s why it’s crucial to have experienced representation by your side. At Cedeño Law Group, PLLC in NYC, our child custody lawyers have years of focused experience in family law, specifically in navigating New York custody laws effectively. We understand the intricacies of these laws and how they can impact your case.


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