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FAQ About Child Custody

The following questions are some of the most commonly asked in family law. We understand that you may be worried about the future and may feel uninformed about the child custody process. At the Law Office of Diane Martin-Grande, we want to give you the comfort and the answers you need. Call our firm today to request a consultation and discuss your unique case in detail.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Who will get custody of our child? - We cannot tell you who will get custody of your child from the outset. The custody plan will be determined through the Family Court or as part of the divorce action. Some couples are able to take control of the custody plan by creating an amicable divorce settlement where they create their own custody arrangements for the kids. In contested divorces, the courts will decide a custody plan that they believe is in the best interests of the children. Most cases will result in some type of shared custody.
  • What are joint custody and sole custody? - Joint custody is a custody arrangement in which both parents have some sort of custody over the children. Joint custody is not always equal. Sole custody is when one parent has complete custody over the child and the other parent may have visitation rights, but not authority over the child.
  • What are physical and legal custody? - Physical custody involves where the child physically resides. A parent with sole physical custody keeps the child at his or her home and does not trade off overnight stays with another parent (except in visitation cases.) Legal custody involves the parents' authority and rights to make decisions for a child. For example, a parent with legal custody can decide where the child will go to school, what religion the child will be brought up in and how the child will be treated in a medical situation.
  • If parents share custody, who pays child support? - The New York Child Supports Standards Act, a non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support based upon the formula of the state. A non-custodial parent is simply a parent with less than 50% of the physical custody time with the child. If parents have an equal 50/50 split arrangement, then the parent whose income is higher is often determined to be the non-custodial parent.
  • Can my child decide which parent to live with? - If your child is old enough to make his or her own decisions, an attorney will meet with the child to discuss his or her wishes. However, the decisions regarding child custody will not be solely based on the child's wishes.
  • Do grandparents have custody or visitation rights? - Grandparents do not have automatic rights to visit or obtain custody of their grandkids. They do have the right to file a petition seeking visitation. This is not an easy task and often leads to difficult court battles.
  • Can I modify my custody order? - Custody orders are not considered permanent. If there is a substantial change in circumstances the court has the right to allow a custody modification. You must go through the court when requesting this order, rather than simply changing things with your spouse.
  • How can I increase my chances of getting a larger custody agreement? - In order to increase your chances of receiving sole or majority custody, you will want to make sure you have a stable job and an adequate living situation. Also, make sure to show that you have a longstanding relationship with your children and have no current problems with substance abuse or other promiscuous behaviors.

If you have more questions about child custody, don't hesitate to call a Rome divorce attorney at our firm today!

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