Long Island Child Custody Modification Lawyers Assert Parental Rights

Advancing the best interests of your children after circumstances change

Your child custody order, or court-approved child custody settlement, has the force of law, so you can only change it with another court order, called a child custody modification. Parents who desire a modification can attempt to negotiate a new agreement with their ex-spouses or petition the court for a new order. However, the court does not change settled issues lightly; you must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances that compel the court to act in the best interests of your child. Since 1990, Simonetti & Associates has helped parents in Nassau and Suffolk Counties obtain reasonable, justifiable modifications to custody orders. Our firm also argues against modification when a change is not warranted. Our firm has the experience to manage your custody issue in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

Why do child custody agreements need to be modified?

The factors New York judges consider when deciding whether to approve a child custody modification include:

  • Best interests of the child: The standard test is whether the benefits of changing the custody arrangement outweigh the inherent negative effects of disrupting the child’s life.
  • Imminent danger to the child: In assessing danger to the child, judges consider:
    • Whether domestic violence is occurring in a parent’s home
    • Whether the danger to the child is imminent
    • Whether the child has expressed an unwillingness to remain in the home where danger may be present
  • Relocation: Judges can grant a child custody modification if one of the child’s parents needs to move to a distant location.
  • Noncooperation with the visitation schedule: If one of the parents is not cooperating with the current visitation schedule, a court may consider changing the child custody arrangement to modify it.
  • Death of a parent: If a child’s custodial parent dies, a judge is likely to give custody of the child to the surviving parent, unless the surviving parent is deemed unwilling, unable or unfit to care for the child.

How does a custody modification affect child support and alimony?

Changing the custody arrangement can force a change in the amount of child support being paid. For example, if the parents modify the order so the children can live with the father the majority of the time, the father may no longer be required to pay child support to the mother. In certain circumstances, this type of modification may result in a modification of spousal support.

Call our family law firm today for a free consultation

If you need to modify your child custody agreement, contact a Long Island, NY divorce law firm that provides valuable representation at a low cost. Simonetti & Associates works to minimize the stress associated with custody battles and helps you protect your children’s best interests. Our main office is located in Woodbury, and we have a second office in downtown Manhattan. For your convenience, we offer flexible business hours, and we always return phone calls, even after hours. For your free consultation, call 877-385-2560 or contact us online.