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New York Child Custody Attorneys

Assuring Your Child's Best Interests Are Met

Our legal system does not handle certain aspects of divorce well — in particular the issue of child custody. When children are involved, great care needs to be taken to assure their best interests are met.

At the law firm of Maxwell & Van Ryn, LLP in the Albany suburb of Delmar, our goal is to help you resolve child custody and visitation disputes by negotiation, if at all possible. While we are always prepared to go to trial — that is one of the reasons we became lawyers — almost all child custody cases are better resolved by negotiation rather than litigation.

Child Custody Battles Aren't About the Parents

Some people entering a divorce want to win child custody because they think they are the better parent. However, in New York State, child custody and visitation are not about you and your rights. They are about your children's best interests. Courts in New York have consistently ruled that it is in the child's best interests to have as much contact with both parents as possible. Unless there are very good reasons, one parent should never have sole custody.

The first step in any contested child custody case is the filing of the petition. The petition needs to allege why the petitioning parent feels he or she would be the person better able to take care of the child or children.

On the first appearance, the judge will try to establish what has taken place in the past with the child and establish a temporary order of custody to make sure that the child is safe. The court will appoint an attorney for the child or children — an attorney who has received special training in representing children — to represent the best interests of your child or children.

Child Custody Modifications: If there is a substantial change in circumstances after divorce, the court may go back and re-examine the issue of child custody. Remarriage, the introduction of a new adult into the household of the child, relocation of a custodial parent, and clear indications of poor parenting are examples of substantial changes in circumstances.

Contact us for an initial child custody consultation with no obligation. Our law office is located in the Albany suburb of Delmar in upstate New York. We offer free parking.

Learn more:

How to Obtain More Time With Your Children

Procedure in a Child Custody Case