Child Custody Battle in New York

What You Need to Know About Child Custody in New York

Getting divorced with children in New York can be a challenging experience.  Whenever there are children involved, it can complicate divorce matters because of issues that have to be resolved such as child custody.  It is important to be knowledgeable about New York laws regarding child custody.  The best way to know what your responsibilities are and how to best handle going about custody is to consult a NY divorce lawyer.  In the meantime, let’s discuss what you need to know about child custody in New York City.

Child Custody in New York

What Are the Different Types of Child Custody in New York


The two different types of child custody in New York are legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody pertains to how decisions regarding the child’s life are made. Legal custody includes making decisions about the children’s education, religion, health care choices, and more.


The other type of custody pertains to physical custody.  Physical custody means where the child will live in a day-to-day basis. 


In a New York child custody battle, the court may determine if only one parent gets custody of the child or if the court will award joint custody. It is important to note that even if both parents have joint custody in NYC, the court can still assign one parent as having primary custody of the child.  The primary custody would determine the child’s primary residence.


How Does the New York Court Decide Who Gets Primary Custody in NY?


The court’s job and the judge’s responsibility is to ensure that the child’s best interests come first; above anything else. The court will evaluate many factors related to how the parents interact with each other and treat their child. They will want to know what the child’s relationship is with each parent as well as both parent's work schedules and childcare plans. Furthermore, they will want to know which parent can provide the most stable home environment that meets the needs of the child. The court will also look for any history of domestic violence and factor that into the decision-making process. If the child is old enough to communicate their wishes, that will also play a role in determining the outcome of custody in New York.


How to Prepare for a Child Custody Hearing in New York City


Keep Accurate Documentation: document things such as when you spend time with your child, and any important conversations you have had with your ex-spouse. Document any situations that occurred that could potentially be a red flag.


Understand What is Best for Your Child: be prepared to convey how you can best meet the emotional, educational, and health needs of your child. For example, if your child is highly involved in school activities and relocating may disrupt their schooling, that must be considered if it is best for the child or not.


Try to Compromise:  the more you are willing to compromise with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the easier it will be to come to an amicable resolution. This will not only be a less stressful solution but will also keep your divorce expenses down. You might want to consider divorce mediation to help resolve some of the difficult situations that you are having trouble agreeing upon.


Need Help With Child Custody Matters in Manhattan?


Call Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 if you need assistance with child custody or divorce matters.  Sabra Law Group can help you mediate your divorce so you can come to a resolution sooner and take some of the pressure off when it comes to communicating with a difficult spouse.



How to Build a Favorable Case to Get Custody of Kids in New York

Custody of Kids in New YorkGoing through a divorce when there are children involved can be a stressful situation. Your children are your most valuable asset when it comes to divorce and New York courts also recognize that because they will always put the best interest of the children first. If you want to get custody of your kids in New York; the more prepared you are, the better the likelihood for things to go in your favor. Below are some important things to consider.


Familiarize Yourself with New York City’s Child Custody Laws


In New York, there is physical (residential) custody and legal (decision-making) custody. The court can award joint or sole custody based on what it believes serves the best interest of the child.


Document Your Involvement in Your Children’s Lives


One of the ways to build a strong case for custody in NY is to keep a record of how involved you are in the children’s day-to-day activities. Examples include preparing their meals, attending school events, scheduling and attending medical appointments, and extracurricular activities. Showing that you are vested in your children’s day-to-day is essential.


Be Able to Demonstrate That You Have Created a Safe and Stable Environment for Your Children


Make sure that the home environment is safe and makes your children feel safe and secure.


If this means downgrading to move to a safer neighborhood with better schools, it might be something to consider because the court would want the children to be living in the safest environment.


Do Your Best to Maintain a Positive Relationship with the Other Parent


Even though it may be difficult to do, it is imperative to not badmouth your soon-to-be ex-spouse to (or within earshot of) your children.  Furthermore, if you can remain on good terms where you can communicate effectively with each other, it will make it easier to sort through divorce matters.


Be Able to Demonstrate That You Have a Steady Stream of Income Coming In


It is important to have a steady job and be able to responsibly manage your bills and finances. Demonstrate financial stability and the ability to support your children.


Put Your Best Foot Forward


Even though it is easy to turn to excessive alcohol to ease your pain, keep in mind that would not reflect positively with the court.  Also, do not engage in drugs or any other behavior that would reflect badly on you.


Build a Strong Case for Yourself By Getting Testimony from Family and Friends


If you can ask friends and family to put into writing how they view you as a parent and say some positive words about how they view your interactions with your children, it may help you with custody.


Don’t Forget to Consider Your Children’s Wishes


If your children are old enough to understand that their parents are in the middle of a divorce; respect their opinion and ask them what their ideal situation would be.  Remember that just because you are done with your spouse doesn’t mean that they have to be. Even if your children can’t have things exactly how they want them; it still makes them feel heard and respected when you take the time to listen to their needs.


Consider Divorce Mediation in New York    


Divorce mediation may be a suitable option for working out child custody issues and matters in an amicable way.  Call Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.





How to Handle Parental Alienation and Reconnect with Your Teen

Parental AlienationParental alienation is when one parent purposely tries to distance their child from the other parent. After a divorce, children may either split their time between both parents or choose to live with one parent if, for example, they are teenagers. If one parent has turned the teen against the other parent, the teen may not even want to have anything to do with the other parent. Teenagers are already dealing with their own issues of adolescence so having to see their parents go through a divorce can also take an emotional toll on them. Having to deal with parental alienation can be a very disheartening situation, however; it is important to realize that there are ways to reconnect with your teenager.


What Are the Signs of Parental Alienation


Some signs of parental alienation include that a child becomes cold or distant towards one parent without a reason or an explanation.  They could also appear to be hostile or angry at one parent.  If they are accusing you of behavior that is not valid; it is important to note that the parent that is doing the alienation may be influencing them to act that way.  That parent may also be threatening them that if they don’t abide by their rules or commands, the teen may have to fend for themselves financially.


Continue to Keep the Lines of Communication Open


Even if your kid avoids you at first and is distant continue to reach out.  It is ok to send them a text message or call them to let them know that you are there for them regardless of what their current situation. Don’t force any conversations but casually reach out from time to time to let them know that you are here for them when they are ready to reach out. By reassuring them that you care, they will eventually come around when they are ready.  By creating a safe space for them that offers loving support, they will feel more comfortable approaching you.


Even if Your Ex-Spouse is Disparaging You, Take the Higher Road


Even if your ex-spouse is disparaging you with your children or other people, remember to take the higher road.  Two wrongs do not make a right! It may be difficult to not say anything and remain quiet but if your ex is also a narcissistic personality, they may use whatever you say against you.


As difficult as it may be, avoid speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your child. This can be challenging, especially if you're being portrayed in a negative light.


When You See Your Teenager Do Your Best to Make It a Positive Experience


When you get to see your teenager, plan some fun activities that they would enjoy or try a new experience together to create new, fun, and positive memories. By spending quality time together, you will slowly be able to rebuild their trust and demonstrate how much you care without the influence of your ex-spouse.



Consider Therapy Who Can Help With Your Family Dynamics and Alienation


An experienced therapist may be able to assist with ways to get your relationship back on track with your teenager and move forward constructively.  Parental alienation can be difficult for the parent who is being alienated as well as the child involved.



Your Teenager May Not Realize They Are Being Manipulated


Your child may not even understand what is happening but once they have more education on what parental alienation is and how to identify signs of it; they may be more aware.  This awareness may be beneficial in them not falling for the tactics so quickly and they may have more resistance and question why they are being told to stay away from the other parent.


Don’t Give Up


It is ok to take a break from trying to mend the relationship with your child and give them some breathing room, however, don’t give up trying.  It may not happen overnight, but it is possible to get your teenager back to a place where he/she will spend time with you again and be willing to rectify the relationship.


You May Be Able to Take Legal Action


A New York divorce and family law lawyer may be able to help you with your parental alienation situation. A NYC family law lawyer may be able to assist with modifications to custody arrangements, and court-ordered therapy, or be able to suggest other techniques to get your relationship with your child back on track.


If you need assistance with matters related to parental alienation in New York City, call Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.






New York Divorce Mediator Shares How to Protect Your Children During Divorce

Divorce can have a negative impact on children and their well-being; however, there are ways you can protect your children during divorce. A New York divorce mediator shares some things you can do to protect your children during divorce.


Opt for a Low-Conflict Divorce


If you do not want divorce to negatively impact your children, it is important to keep the conflict level low in your divorce. One way to do this is to mediate your divorce instead of battling it out in court. Although some conflict is unavoidable during divorce, you can take steps to safeguard your children so that they are not stuck in the middle of a nasty divorce battle.

New York Divorce Mediator: How to Protect Your Children During Divorce

Be Cautious of Your Spouse Putting Your Children in the Middle of the Divorce


If your spouse is going to your teenage children to communicate with you; instead of communicating with you directly, they are putting your children in the middle of your divorce. It is imperative to nip that in the bud as soon as it happens. Have an honest and upfront discussion with your spouse that this is not healthy for the children. Also, convey that as adults we should handle the details of the divorce confidentially.


Are Your Children Too Young to Understand Why You Are Divorcing?


Also, it is best to not be an open book when it comes to disclosing reasons for your divorce to your children. If your husband cheated on you, it is not something you want to bring up to your children; especially if they are too young to comprehend what is happening.


Keep Financial Matters About Child Support Confidential from Your Children


And if your ex is giving you a hard time about paying for child support or providing other financial support for the children, do not bring the children into it! It is best to keep these things private and sharing things like this with your children can foster resentment towards the other parent. Talking bad about the other parent can take a psychological toll on children; so, it is best to avoid this at all costs.


Have a Solid Game Plan on How to Treat Your Children Collectively During the Divorce


“Collectively” means that both of you need to be on the same page in terms of what you're going to share with the children and what you're not going to share with the children. Think of it as making a pact that is not meant to be broken for the sake of your children’s emotional well-being.


Need a New York Divorce Mediator to Help You With Your Divorce?


Call Sabra Law Group today at 646-472-7971 to speak to a knowledgeable New York divorce mediator who can assist you with your divorce matters.




When and How Can Child Custody Orders Be Modified in New York City?

Child custody arrangements in NYC should always prioritize the best interest of the children first and foremost. However, as life events and situations change; what may have worked initially may not work in the future. Let’s discuss how child custody orders can be modified in New York City below.

When and How Can Child Custody Orders Be Modified in New York

What Are the Grounds for Modifying Child Custody Arrangements in New York City?


The court usually requires a parent to demonstrate a significant change in circumstances from the last time the initial order was issued to consider modifying a child custody orders.


These changes may include:


  • Neglect, abuse, or domestic violence
  • A significant change in the living situation of one of the parents
  • One parent has to relocate thus making the existing arrangement unrealistic
  • Any changes to the child's health welfare or education needs


The Court Will Always Evaluate the Best Interests of the Child Above Anything Else 


Even if there is a huge change in a parent’s situation or circumstance; the court will still consider what the child's relationship is with both parents as well as the preferences of the child. If the child is old enough to declare their preferences the court will take that into consideration


The court will also look to see which parents can better provide a stable and safe home environment. The court will also consider any previous history of child neglect or abuse.


What is the Process of Modifying Child Custody Orders in New York City?


Step One: Consult your divorce mediation lawyer about helping you file a petition with the court that issued the initial child custody order. Usually, this will be the family court in your area where either one parent or the child lives in.


Step Two: Mediation prior to your court date.  Mediation is a collaborative approach that assists both parents find a middle ground for child custody and divorce related matters.


Step Three:  A court evaluation may be required. Sometimes the court may require an evaluation if the parenting situation is delicate. A court evaluation involves working with a neutral 3rd party such as a psychologist or social worker.


Step Four:  Schedule a court hearing.  The court may require a hearing if both parents fail to come to an amicable agreement via mediation. The judge will evaluate all evidence, an evaluation report (if there was one conducted), and any applicable witness testimonies.


Step Five:  The judge may issue a modified child custody order.  If the judge determines that a child support order modification is in the best interest of the child or children; the judge will issue a new child custody order.


Do You Need Help with Your Child Custody Order in NYC?


Contact Sabra Law Group today to speak to a New York divorce mediation lawyer at (646) 472-6971.



5 Common Misconceptions About a Child Custody Battle in New York City

There are so many misconceptions that go around about child custody battles in New York City. However, let's spend a moment to separate the facts from fiction. Let's explore some of the most common misconceptions about child custody battles in New York City.


Misconception #1: Mothers Will Always Get Custody of Their Children.

What's really the reality in 2023? The court will always focus on the best interest of the children regardless of if it decides to award custody to the mother or father. There are so many factors that go into who gets awarded custody, however; the child's stability and well-being will always play an important role. Furthermore, the court will consider how involved each parent can be based on their job responsibilities and lifestyle.

Child Custody Battle New York


Misconception #2: If a Parent Doesn't Pay Child Support, They May Lose Their Visitation Rights


The reality is that child support and visitation rights are not always related. Usually, parents cannot be denied visitation if they fail to make child support payments. It is however important to note that the parent who is receiving child support has a right to pursue legal action in order to collect child support payments. It is also realistic to consider that the parent is supposed to be receiving child support payments and doesn’t may try to deny visitation to the parent that is withholding child support. It is best to consult a NY divorce and custody lawyer if you are in this situation.


Misconception #3: The Court Will Favor the Parent with More Financial Stability


The truth is that even though financial stability is important for taking care of the children; the court cannot decide based on that alone. Many factors must go into the decision-making process, such as is there a stable home environment and what will be best for the child's emotional health.


Misconception #4: Once a Child Custody Order is Finalized, it Cannot Be Changed

The reality is that a parent or child’s circumstances can change over time. When circumstances do change, the court has the authority to revisit and remodify the child custody order upon application by either parent. One example of this would be if one of the parents gets a job out of state and has to move out of town. Another example would be if the court thinks that a child's well-being is at risk. In each instance, one of the parents would need to make an application to the court for a modification to the existing custody arrangements.


Misconception #5: Parents Can Finalize Custody Arrangements Without Getting a Court Involved


The reality is that parents can come up with custody arrangements outside of court, however; it is sensible to consult a knowledgeable New York divorce and custody attorney who can help formalize the agreement. Call Sabra Law Group if you need assistance at (646) 472-7971.


Misconception #6 Child Custody Battles in Court Always End Up in a Long and Nasty Legal Process


The reality is that many custody battles and disputes can be resolved through mediation or even a collaborative divorce process. The advantage of either of these processes is that they focus on helping both parents to come up with a mutually agreeable solution and do it in a quicker and less confrontational manner than going to court. Preparing for a Child Custody Battle in New York City? Contact Sabra Law Group to get the support you need in your child custody battle in New York at (646) 472-7971.