Child Custody & Visitation
Our attorneys bring a high level of sensitivity to the resolution of child custody and access arrangements between separating and divorcing parents.
We represent mothers, fathers, same-sex partners and grandparents in matters involving custody, visitation and geographic relocation.
We have the ability—and are often called upon—to:
- Advise parents on custodial, visitation and other time-sharing arrangements
- Fight to protect the children, mothers and/or fathers in high-stakes custody litigation
- Guide clients through the thicket of the custodial forensic and family evaluation process
- Help parents navigate the parent coordination process
- Litigate inter-state and international custody disputes in the United States, Europe and Asia
- Represent clients on both sides of relocation cases, where one parent is seeking to move with the children to another jurisdiction
- Get courts to revisit custodial arrangements when circumstances have changed significantly after a final judgment or order
- Litigate and manage issues related to assisted reproductive technology
We will work closely with you to understand your entire family dynamic, parental fitness and the developmental needs of your children, all while striving to reach a resolution that promotes the best interests of your children. Once we have an understanding of your situation and needs, we can help you navigate the entire process, from negotiating expedient agreements to litigating custody issues—including forensic evaluation—if necessary.
Thank you for being my guardian angel and standing by me and my son. You have allowed me to be my son’s advocate through all of this, and I am so grateful to you for that.
We have a record of success in protecting and defending the custodial rights of mothers and fathers who are the primary caretakers of their children. We also frequently litigate on behalf of countless mothers and fathers on the critically important issues of parental access and legal decision-making. Our successes include, but are not limited to:
- Re-obtaining custody of children for a mother who had parental rights suspended on account of false allegations of sexual abuse by a nanny
- Restoring a father’s parental custody and access rights, which were being improperly obstructed by the mother
- Obtaining exclusive occupancy of a marital residence during a divorce proceeding for a mother who had been assaulted by her husband, who claimed that it was an accident
- Obtaining joint custody for multiple parents who have battled substance abuse issues
- Defending a mother’s ability to relocate with children from Manhattan to northern Westchester—and for another mother to Jersey City
- Restraining a parent from relocating to Westchester from New York City
- Obtaining custody of infants for a father when the mother had jeopardized the children’s safety
- Retaining custody of children for a mother after cross-examining a forensic expert, who opined that the mother was a restrictive gatekeeper and not supportive of the father’s relationship with the children
- Obtaining sole custody for a very high-profile mother at trial when, among other things, the father had improper sexual relationships and used the family computer for sexual purposes
- Securing a court order requiring a new trial in a custody matter when, through cross-examination, improprieties between the opposing counsel and the forensic evaluator were revealed and, immediately following the order, securing an extremely favorable settlement for the client
- Litigating on behalf of a mother in a New York divorce action that child custody matters were to be resolved in France, a more favorable jurisdiction, where she resided with the child and wanted to remain
- Protecting the rights of a gay parent against her soon to be ex-heterosexual spouse’s abusive and unfounded attempts to interfere with her parental rights
We know well the interplay between mental health and parenting.
We are well versed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the various mental health issues it addresses. We work with mental health professionals on a regular basis, some of whom may be treating our clients and others that are experts we may rely on in a particular case. In some instances, we are called upon to defend one parent against cruel attempts to exploit a mental health disorder to gain a tactical advantage in a litigation. We do so by understanding our client’s condition and treatment protocol and ensuring they are in complete compliance with their treatment plan. When necessary, we invoke the protections afforded to our clients by the U.S. and New York Constitutions, the Americans with Disabilities Act and New York decisional authority.
At other times, we are called upon to represent concerned parents seeking to protect their children from a parent who has rejected his or her diagnosis or is not compliant with their treatment plan—which often has a devastating impact on the family. We regularly need to address substance abuse issues as well, which are often a corollary to an underlying mental health issue. We have successfully requested, and opposed requests, for orders compelling random drug and alcohol testing.
We also frequently represent parents of children with special needs, and are often called upon to establish appropriate parenting schedules that provide much-needed stability for the children, and legal custody arrangements that ensure a parent will have the ability to obtain necessary services for their children without having to litigate every decision that needs to be made.