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Court Discusses Custody Decision


In order for a court to modify any order previously enacted by that court or another, the petitioner/complainant is responsible to demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances that would warrant the court to take action to modify the agreement. A significant change is something more than just a desire to change the circumstances of the decree. For instance, if a custodial parent is arrested, it may be important to modify the elements of the decree to change the primary custody location to the non-custodial parent who is not incarcerated.

A New York Family Lawyer said there are many situations that can provoke a change in the circumstances enough to warrant a finding to change the decree. The most common changes are those in residences. When two parents share custody of a child and they both reside in close proximity, things usually go fairly smoothly. However, if one of those parents move to a different state, the other parent is likely to file for a change in the original decree based on a significant change in circumstances. Sharing custody of a child locally is easy. Sharing custody of a child from different states can often pose a financial hardship to the parents involved in a significant manner. It then falls to the court to determine what if any changes need to be made to the original divorce decree to accommodate the changes in life situations.

When a custodial parent loses a job and source of income so that they are unable or unwilling to support the child on their own, the family may resort to a change in the custody arrangement through the court system in order for the child to reside with the parent who is most capable of caring for them. Severe illness of one parent can also be taken into consideration as a change of situation significant enough to cause the court to act on changing the original court ordered decree.

One must remember that New York statutory law is designed to foster a positive relationship between the children of divorced couples and both of their parents if at all possible. A Suffolk County Family Lawyer said the court recognizes that it is always in the best interest of the child to promote a positive relationship with both natural parents. In some cases, it is important to ensure that a long-term stepparent is considered for visitation as well. The court does not make a distinction between a parent by blood and one by action. Often, a parent who is not a natural parent to the child, can be just as close to the child as one who is their parent by blood. If the child has only known that parent, then blood is of no consequence to defining the parent relationship in the eyes of that child. The court must be willing to evaluate each parental relationship on its own merit and allow the children to develop and maintain long-term positive relationships with adult role models. The importance of this consideration is tantamount to the considerations of the New York legislature when they established the laws of the state.

In order to maintain these relationships, one must look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding each case and monitor the impact of the decree as it relates to the subject child. If there is a huge chasm between the parents, it is difficult for them to work with the child to ensure that the child’s relationship with both parents is kept healthy. A Staten Island Family Lawyer said when one parent continues to attempt to interfere with the relationship that exists between the child and the other parent, the court is required to be the mediator to ensure that the child is the one considered the most important of the group.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its child visitation Lawyers there are convenient offices throughout New York State and Metropolitan area. Our child custody Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Hiring a divorce attorney can prevent you from losing precious time with your family.

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