Articles Posted in Child Custody

Parent alienation is a significant factor which New York courts consider in child custody cases. Parental alienation can strain parent-child relationships if not identified and handled correctly. Parental alienation occurs when one parent influences the child to have “unwarranted feelings of fear, anger and/or disrespect towards the other parent.” This can cause the child to push away the alienated parent. Often in divorce cases, one parent will let their negative emotions consume them and allow them to manipulate the way their child perceives their other parent.

There are ways to spot parental alienation. Some signs include the child’s emotional withdrawal from a parent, the child’s display of separation anxiety, and the child refusing to spend time with the alienated parent. One clear sign is when the child asks about specifics regarding the divorce case, which they would have picked up from the other parent. To avoid parental alienation, the court can order both parents to attend a parenting education program, avoid using the children as messengers between the parents, and to communicate directly.

Often, it becomes necessary to take legal action in cases where a parent exhibits alienating conduct to prevent further damage to the parent-child relationship.

daughter in dads arms
In deciding which parent should have legal custody of a child, New York Courts consider the following factors:

  • Which parent has been the Primary Caregiver;
  • Which parent is more available;

baby foot in hands

New York courts always determine custody based on what is in the best interest of the children. If there is no court order or a written agreement between the parties, then both parents have equal rights to physical and legal custody of the child. Where modification of existing order of custody and parental access is sought, the party seeking it must make a showing of a change in circumstances such that modification is required to protect the best interests of children. “Substantial change in circumstances” is a high standard. Courts tend not to disturb custody arrangements ordered or agreed to by the parents unless the change in circumstances is such that the child’s best interest is no longer served. The best interests of a child are determined based upon the totality of circumstances. One of many factors the courts look at is the custodial parent’s willingness to foster a meaningful relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent. Contact Rudyuk Law Firm to speak with attorney Ksenia Rudyuk for more information. 212-706-2001

When contemplating a shared physical custody schedule for an adolescent, the child’s personality shall be considered.

One of the common arguments in custody cases is that children should be able to spend “equal” time with both parents so that they may develop a meaningful relationship with each parent. Many advocates believe that shared custody by default is in the best interests of the child. However, some children are highly flexible and adapt to being mobile between two homes; others do not.

The child’s unique characteristics such as personality and temperament shall be considered when determining whether shared physical custody is in the best interest of the child.