Wisselman & Associates Articles Child Custody Modification in New York

Child Custody Modification in New York

By Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C.  Dec. 12, 2010 5:10p

In the state of New York, until the child either turns 21, or is emancipated, the court has the power and authority to modify child custody and visitation in the event a significant change in circumstances can be shown. A  child custody modification could result in a change of custody or visitation for the parents. In New York, a child becomes emancipated when he or she either marries or joins the armed forces. 

Changes in custody orders are usually brought on by some major life event. For example, one of the parents die, or one parent gets seriously injured or ill, or they develop a drug or alcohol addiction. Whatever the reason why one parent or family member might request a change in the child custody or visitation agreement might be, the petitioner has to show that there has been an extraordinary change in circumstances or that the custodial parent is clearly unfit to properly care for the child.

Custody Modification for Parents and Non Parents

Under certain circumstances, custody may be awarded to a non-parent, generally to a grandparent or aunt or uncle. In these cases, the requesting party must show that they have substantial cause to request custody of the said child. They must show that the parent with custody is unfit by reasons of neglect, absent surrender, abandonment, persistent neglect, unfitness or other type of extraordinary circumstances. When the court is determining whether or not a child custody modification should take place, they will consider certain factors such as:

  • The age of the parents
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Availability of the parents
  • Any disability and physical health
  • Any existing informal or formal custody agreements
  • The parents financial situation
  • Any findings of child abuse, neglect or spousal abuse
  • The safety of the home environment
  • Mental and emotional stability
  • The child's preference
  • Who is the primary caretaker
  • Siblings

In any child custody modification, the courts will always have what is in the child's best interests in mind, when making a decision to either keep the current child custody arrangement the same or to modify its terms. If you are seeking a child custody modification, a Long Island child custody modification attorney at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C., can help you in the complex matter.  

Contact a Long Island Child Custody Modification Lawyer at our firm today for a free consultation.

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