Answers To Your Custody And Visitation Questions

Anyone facing a divorce or separation involving a child custody determination is likely to have numerous questions. When it comes to taking care of your children, you can never have too much knowledge.

The first thing you should do is call an experienced lawyer from Venzon Law Firm PC. Catharine Venzon and Chad Pidanick are certified in New York as Attorneys for the Child, and our entire team has a wealth of experience handling a range of child-related family law matters. We have been serving clients in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and all of Western New York for more than 30 years.

Find the answers to your questions and talk with an attorney from our legal team.

  • What is the difference between physical custody and legal custody?

Physical custody involves which parent has the child in the home at what times, and legal custody involves the power to make decisions on behalf of the child, including schooling, medical decisions and other important parenting choices.

  • How do we determine who gets custody?

In most cases, neither parent gets sole physical custody. Courts prefer parenting plans in which both parents have quality time with the child. Domestic abuse cases and other cases involving problems with the parents can result in one parent getting sole custody.

Most parenting plans are determined by both of the parties creating a parenting plan together in a negotiation outside of court. However, when negotiations of this kind are unsuccessful, these issues can be decided in court.

  • Do grandparents have custody and visitation rights?

Grandparents don't have an automatic right to custody or visitation with their grandchildren. In cases in which one or both parents are unfit for parenting, grandparents have an opportunity to claim custody and visitation, but this is rare and it is a complicated process.

  • Who gets the child before the divorce is finalized?

In most divorces, the court will issue temporary custody and visitation orders that will stay in effect during the divorce process. In some cases, divorcing spouses can use the temporary orders as a starting point for creating their own custody agreements.

  • Can we change a custody agreement after it is finalized?

Yes. While parenting plans are intended to be permanent, the circumstances of life change for people, so parenting plans need to change, too. Gaining court approval for a parenting plan requires a showing of a substantial change of circumstance in the best interest of the child to justify the change in the plan. This can include a job change, relocation, the child developing special needs, serious financial setbacks, car accidents and other major life events.

Contact Venzon Law Firm PC

If you are facing a divorce or separation in which children are involved, the best thing you can do is talk with an experienced lawyer to discuss the issues involved. Call us at 800-583-6960 or email us today.