close search ×
Singl mom with baby working from home

Queens Child Custody Lawyer

logo icon

Nothing is more important than your children. You love them unconditionally, and nothing could ever change that. You want to be there for them, to care for them, to watch them grow. But sometimes, life throws you a curveball. Maybe you’re going through a divorce, separation, or paternity dispute. Maybe you’re facing allegations of abuse, neglect, or unfitness. Maybe you’re dealing with relocation, modification, or enforcement issues. Whatever the case may be, you need a family law attorney who understands what you’re going through and who can help you achieve the best outcome for you and your children. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you are in the right place. Contact a dedicated Queens child custody lawyer from Vasiliou Law to learn more about your rights and how we can protect them.


Child Custody Lawyer | Advocating for Families Across NYC

Here at the Law Offices of Kaliope Vasiliou, we have decades of experience and a passion for assisting parents like you. We know how stressful and emotional these cases can be, and we are here to guide you through the process with compassion and professionalism. We will listen to your story, explain your options, and advocate for your interests in court if need be. We will work hard to protect your rights and secure your future with your children. You don’t have to face this alone. Reach out to a seasoned Queens lawyer from Vasiliou Law so we can be your number one ally.

Physical Vs. Legal Custody in NYS

If you are a parent who is going through a divorce or separation, you may be wondering what will happen to your child. Child custody has two aspects: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to who your child lives with and who takes care of their daily needs, while legal custody refers to who has the authority to make major decisions for your child, such as where they go to school, what religion they follow, and what medical treatment they receive.

Depending on your situation, you may have sole or joint physical or legal custody of your child. Sole custody means that one parent has both physical and legal custody of the child, while joint custody means that both parents share physical or legal custody or both. The difference between joint physical and joint legal custody is where your child primarily resides and who has more decision-making power over their life. If you cannot agree on a parenting plan with your spouse, the court will decide what type of custody arrangement is appropriate for your child based on their best interests. The future of your child’s well-being may be at stake, so if you’re facing a litigated custody matter, you must hire a Queens child custody lawyer who can efficaciously fight for you.

Visitation in NYS

Sometimes, joint custody isn’t an option. However, even if a child’s parent has sole custody, the child’s noncustodial parent can seek visitation. Visitation refers to the time that the noncustodial parent or other person spends with the child. Visitation can be supervised or unsupervised, depending on the best interests of the child. The court will decide what type of custody and visitation arrangement is appropriate for the child based on a variety of factors, such as the child’s preference, the parents’ ability to cooperate in raising the child, and whether there has been a history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

How New York Courts Determine Child Custody

The most important factor courts will consider when determining a custody agreement is the best interests of the child. Just some of the things they’ll consider in the course of making this decision are as follows:

  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child: The court will evaluate how well each parent can provide for the child’s physical, emotional, educational, and social needs. The court will also consider each parent’s parenting skills, communication skills, and willingness to cooperate with the other parent. Importantly, in some cases, courts will discourage or deny joint custody if the parents have a high level of conflict or hostility that may harm the child.
  • Each parent’s mental health and physical well-being: The court will assess whether each parent has any mental or physical issues that may affect their ability to care for the child or pose a risk to the child’s safety or welfare. The court may order psychological evaluations or medical examinations if necessary.
  • Any history of domestic violence in the family: The court will take into account any evidence of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect by either parent or anyone else in the household. The court may limit or deny custody or visitation to a parent who has committed domestic violence or exposed the child to domestic violence.
  • The parents’ work schedules: The court will consider how each parent’s work schedule affects their availability and flexibility to care for the child. The court may favor a parent who has a more stable and consistent work schedule or who can arrange for quality child care when they are working.
  • The child’s desires, depending on their age and maturity: The court will give weight to the child’s preference for custody, if the child is old enough and mature enough to express a reasonable preference. The court may interview the child privately or appoint a lawyer or a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests.

Modifying a Custody Order in NYS

Often, in the months and years after a divorce, a child’s needs or a parent’s life will change, sometimes significantly so. In certain cases, a significant life change may warrant a modification to an initial custody agreement. Some common examples of scenarios that can warrant a modification to a custody agreement are as follows:

  • One parent wants to relocate with the child to another state or country
  • One parent has a significant change in income or employment that affects their ability to provide for the child
  • One parent has a serious illness or injury that impairs their ability to care for the child
  • One parent develops a substance abuse or mental health issue that poses a risk to the child’s safety or welfare
  • One parent engages in domestic violence, abuse, or neglect of the child or the other parent
  • One parent repeatedly violates the existing custody order or interferes with the other parent’s visitation rights
  • The child expresses a preference to live with the other parent (but only if the child is old enough and mature enough to do so)
  • The child has special needs or circumstances that require a different custody arrangement

If you wish to modify your custody agreement in any way, simply contact a child custody lawyer from Vasiliou Law today.


Relocating With a Child After a Divorce

If you are a parent who wants to relocate with your child after divorce, it’s important to know that New York courts do not automatically allow such a move. Relocating with your child can have a significant impact on the other parent’s rights and the child’s best interests. Therefore, you need to follow certain steps and obtain the court’s permission before you can move.

The first step is to inform the other parent of your plans to relocate in writing. You should provide the details of your proposed move, such as the destination, the reason, the date, and the effect on the child’s education, health, and social life. You should also propose a new visitation schedule that will allow the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child.

If the other parent agrees to your relocation, you should have a lawyer help you draft a consent order and submit it to the court. This will make your agreement official and enforceable. If the other parent does not agree to your plan to relocate, you will likely have to obtain permission from the court. The court will consider a variety of factors when determining whether it will approve of the relocation, including the following:

  • Your reasons for the move and the other parent’s reasons for opposing it
  • The child’s relationship with each parent and how the move will affect it
  • The benefits and drawbacks of the move for the child’s physical, emotional, educational, and social well-being
  • The feasibility and cost of maintaining a regular visitation schedule for the other parent

Child Support in New York State

Typically, unless the custodial parent waives their right to receive support, courts will order the noncustodial spouse to make regular child support payments. Courts maintain that both spouses have to contribute to raising the child, and if a spouse doesn’t have primary custody, they’ll have to contribute financially. That said, courts will consider a variety of factors when determining how much the noncustodial parent will owe. Primarily, the court will calculate a support agreement based on the Child Support Standards Act, which uses a percentage of both parents’ combined income and the number of children they share. The percentages for child support are: 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children, and at least 35% for five or more children. Importantly, the combined income of both parents is adjusted by subtracting certain deductions, such as taxes, social security, Medicare, child support paid for other children, and public assistance.

You should also note that courts often deviate from the CSSA guidelines if it believes there are other factors at play, such as the financial resources and needs of each parent and child, the standard of living of the child before the divorce or separation, and any special circumstances or expenses. Child support in New York typically ends when the child turns 21 years old, unless the child is emancipated before that age.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer from Vasiliou Law

If you’re facing a custody or support issue of any kind, you can have peace of mind when you turn to a dedicated child custody lawyer from Vasiliou Law for guidance. Contact our firm today so you can tell us your needs and goals and so we can begin to devise a strategy to make those goals a reality.

Website Designed & Managed by