Parents who have spent a lot of time and resources raising their child can use this to show a stronger relationship.
Brooklyn, NY – Being adequately prepared for a child custody hearing is very important for anyone who is having a dispute with the other parent. This preparation should be done with an attorney, and there are a few specific areas of focus that are always relevant to custody hearings in New York and other states.
While the general standard used in child custody hearings is the best interests of the child, there are some specific things that the judge will look at to determine the parent’s fitness.
Stability and ties to the community
Ideally, the judge will want to disrupt the child’s living situation as little as possible. They will try to ensure that they may not have to switch schools, residences, or family members if this is realistic. This also means that the judge will likely not want to terminate a parent’s custody rights entirely unless there are serious questions about their ability to raise a child.
In some cases, one parent may bring up negative issues from a person’s past as a way to limit or eliminate their custody rights. This may include child abuse, neglect, criminal cases, substance abuse problems, financial problems and long periods of unemployment, or health issues that may prevent the person from being able to care for a child. A history of any of these problems may cause the judge to be unsure about their ability to create a stable home environment.
The child’s preference
It is possible that the judge will give serious weight to the child’s own preference. However, this becomes much more of a concern for children in their teenage years who are close to adulthood and being independent. If a very young child expresses specific preferences for a certain parent or environment, it is less likely that these concerns will be given significant weight in the final decision.
Parents who have spent a lot of time and resources raising their child can use this to show a stronger relationship. If one parent has been feeding the child, taking them to school, providing healthcare, and helping with their day-to-day activities, the judge may decide the child’s best interests are to stay in this routine without much interruption. Documentation of these commitments and their costs can be used as evidence.
More information from a family attorney
Elliot Green Law Offices is a family law practice that can help people with child custody issues, divorces, and other related problems in the Brooklyn area. Their attorneys can discuss these matters in more specific detail with anyone who schedules a consultation.