If you are a parent going through divorce in New York, then you probably have questions about child custody and support. Navigating the complex legalese of divorce law can seem overwhelming, but a family attorney can demystify the legal framework.
Elliot Green is a Staten Island child custody lawyer who can answer your questions about child custody, maintenance, asset division and other aspects of divorce. Our office is available 24 hours a day, and we offer free, 30-minute initial consultations. To learn more, call the Elliot Green Law Offices today at 718-260-8668.
Until then, read on to find out who may be able to win custody of children in New York:
A Parent Wins Custody in Most Cases
According to WomensLaw.org, at least one of the child’s parents will get custody in most cases. However, there are exceptions; for example, if both parents are dead or if the court believes that neither parent is fit to raise the child, then it will explore other options.
According to NYCourts.gov, there are certain situations when people who are not a child’s parents can file for custody. In these cases, the filer must prove that he or she is the most appropriate guardian based on the child’s best interests. He or she may have to prove that the biological parent has abandoned the child in question, or has neglected the child in a way that compromises his or her best interests.
The court handles these matters on a case-by-case basis because every familial situation is unique. However, the underlying goal in any custody case is always to make a decision based on the child’s best interests.
Grandparents Can Win Custody
If the parents voluntarily gave the child to the grandparent, then the grandparent has physical custody. In these situations, the parents maintain their legal rights, such as visitation privileges, and they can make decisions about the child’s educational and medical needs. At any time, the parents can return and take the child out of the care of the grandparent.
If the child has lived with the grandparent for more than two continuous years, then it is likely that the grandparent can secure legal custody. However, many grandparents file for legal custody without having lived with the child for two years.
Legal custody grants the grandparent the legal rights of the parent. Grandparents can usually secure legal custody if one of the following extraordinary circumstances has transpired:
- Parents gave children to grandparents because they could not take care of them;
- Parents abandoned the children;
- Parents have neglected the children, or did not provide the appropriate physical or medical care;
- Or the parents have introduced an environment that the court deems is harmful to the child.
If you would like to file for custody of a non-biological child in New York, then contact the Elliot Green Law Offices. As a Staten Island child custody attorney, Mr. Green can determine if you may be eligible for custody and can explain the steps you need to take. Call us today at 718-260-8668 to schedule a consultation.