Custody Lawyers: An Ultimate Guide to Choosing A Custody Lawyer in Rochester, NY
Whether you are in the midst of a divorce or you are considering seeking legal aid to help you gain a custody order granting you rights to your child, you may have realized that hiring a custody lawyer may be the best way to mitigate any issues between you and your spouse.
This guide will help you make an informed decision regarding hiring a custody lawyer in Rochester, NY and give you insights into the role they play in custody litigation.
What is a Custody Lawyer?
A custody lawyer is your most valuable asset in any child custody case. Beyond that, a custody lawyer is a licensed attorney that works to aid individuals in child custody cases by presenting their arguments to the judge overseeing the case. They are able to present your arguments in a clear unbiased manner and provide supporting evidence to your claims.
Custody lawyers ask questions to determine all the details of your case, so they can accurately assess your chances of gaining a favorable custody order. They will provide you advice and guidance throughout your case to ensure the best results.
A Rochester custody lawyer must achieve a high level of academic success before they are able to practice in their state. After earning a Bachelor’s degree, they must then compete in the law school application process. Once they have earned their Juris Doctorate from their law school, they must then take and pass the Bar Exam in their state. Most states also require lawyers to take another exam called the MRPE to become a fully licensed lawyer.
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What are New York’s Child Custody Laws?
The laws regarding custody are written to help determine the responsibilities of each parent in raising their child. The laws are very clear in their emphasis on granting custody rights that align with the best interest of the child.
Child custody is a very complex topic. Custody of a child can be given to one parent, both parents, another adult, or the child may become a ward of the state and assigned a guardian.
New York’s custody laws are split into two primary forms of custody: legal custody and physical custody.
- Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding the child. Parents who are granted physical custody can make important decisions about the child’s health and other important aspects of their upbringing such as their schooling, religion, and housing.
- Physical Custody: This custody refers to where the child resides and with which parent. If a parent is given physical custody they are responsible for the supervision of the child and handles their physical care.
A judge will hear both sides of the case. Once the judge has made a final decision they will grant a custody order to one or both parents. Here’s a breakdown of the different ways in which custody can be granted:
- Sole Custody: When an individual has been granted sole custody of a child they alone are responsible for the physical care of a child and the decision-making regarding the child’s upbringing.
- Joint Custody: A joint custody agreement divides custody of a child between two parents. They are equally responsible for the physical care and decision-making.
- Temporary Custody: A temporary custody order is granted to prevent divorce proceedings from placing the child in danger or uprooting them as the proceedings drag on. They are put in place until a permanent custody agreement can be reached.
A custody lawyer will work with you to determine the best way forward in your case. They will ask questions to get a full picture of the situation and will consider your best possible outcome whether it’s full custody or joint custody. Additionally, a custody lawyer will give you insights into what a judge will consider the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
What Does the Judge Consider in Custody Cases?
First and foremost, a judge will consider what they believe is in the best interests of the child which takes precedent in all cases. This can range from protecting a child from a dangerous parent or determining which parent will be able to best provide for the child and all their needs. That said, there are certain aspects of your case that a judge will consider including:
- Dangers Presented by a Parent (ie. physical abuse, domestic violence, drug abuse, etc.)
- The Child’s Relationship with Extended Family, Friends, and Their Roots in the Community
- The Child’s Primary Caregiver
- The Child’s Wishes (if they are old and mature enough to present them)
- Parent’s Ability to Provide for All of Their Child’s Needs
- Whether a Parent will be able to Care for a Special Needs Child (if applicable)
- The Health of All Parties (Mental & Physical)
- The Parents’ Preferences
It’s essential to work with a qualified and experienced custody lawyer to ensure that you are able to best present your case to the judge, especially if you are pursuing sole custody. A great custody lawyer understands the difficult nature of these negotiations and will do their utmost to build an airtight argument supporting your ability to provide excellent care for your child.
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How to Choose The Best Custody Lawyer in Rochester, NY
When it comes to handling the delicate and complex legal situation that may arise when you are attempting to secure custody of your child, it’s imperative to work with a custody lawyer who will do their best to argue your case. However, with the plethora of custody lawyers who are available to take your case, it can be difficult to choose the best one.
Difficult, but not impossible.
Before taking the time to scour the white pages, try asking friends and family members if they have any recommendations for the best custody lawyers in Rochester, NY. Whether you have a divorced friend with full custody or a family member who was able to successfully negotiate joint custody, these individuals are great resources. Not only can they provide you with insight about their own experiences, but they can point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best custody lawyer in Rochester, NY.
However, you’ll have to keep in mind that all custody cases are unique. Even if you find a great lawyer through a friend or family member, there’s no guarantee that they are the best lawyer to take on your case. You’ll have to do your due diligence to ensure that you are making an informed decision. Here are some questions to ask prospects that will help you choose the best custody lawyer in Rochester, NY.
- What are your qualifications?
- How much experience do you have in custody law?
- Have you dealt with any cases that are similar to mine? How did they fare?
- How long have you been practicing family law?
- What are your fees and pricing?
- Can you give me a brief assessment of my case and what you think my next steps should be?
- Are you confident in your ability to help me gain custody of my child?
Why Work With The Cimino Law Firm?
When trying to find the best custody lawyer in Rochester, NY, it’s vital to understand their important role in your fight for a favorable custody order ruling whether you are seeking sole or joint custody. The custody lawyer you choose should understand the sensitive nature of these proceedings and have the experience necessary to get the job done.
With two offices conveniently located in Downtown Rochester and Webster, NY, The Cimino Law Firm is dedicated to providing that and more to our clients in the Rochester, NY area. Michelle Cimino Esq. has been serving the Rochester region for over 22 years and has used that experience to fight for her clients. She is dedicated to making these difficult family law issues as easy as possible for her clients from the initial consultation to the final ruling.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure the health of our clients and staff. In order to provide the best service possible, we are conducting free telephone or virtual consultations.
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