Child custody cases can be challenging and emotionally draining for all parties involved. There are avenues you’ll want to pursue,and, in some instances, there are things you’ll want to avoid. Here’s our advice on how our Rochester family law attorneys can help with your child custody case.

First things first, you need to have a seasoned family law attorney who can navigate the legalities associated with child custody cases. This is one time you can’t afford to compromise on quality. The wrong legal counsel can significantly affect your efforts in a negative way and can affect the way your child is raised.

There are times when mediation is best. This allows for a less volatile process and can help protect your child from the negativity of a long battle between parents. This should always be the goal, even if it doesn’t appear to be a way to accomplish it; good intentions and proper motives can set the pace for future negotiations either between parents or whenever new custody arrangements are being sought.

The best interest of the child is the priority of the courts. It will seek to find the solution that will allow the child to thrive: in school, among their peers and in the home. It’s not a preferred way to come to a solution, but when parents cannot agree, the courts have few options but to make the decisions for the family. From a broad perspective, consider the process that gets you into a courtroom with the legal system deciding what’s best for your child and how you can avoid that.

When Mom and Dad can’t agree, they seek legal remedies through their respective attorneys. The attorneys will use the tools they have available, including encouraging the parents to enter into mediation. If that provides a solution both sides are comfortable with allowing, the problem is solved, and Mom and Dad adopt the new solution.

If mediation is not successful or if either or both parents fail to follow through, the attorneys will then work with what each party wishes. They will work with their clients to discern which points are not negotiable and then will seek to find middle ground where parents are willing to bend. It’s important for both parties to know that if they have tunnel vision and can see only one outcome, the odds of working out a new situation that both sides can live with and that will best benefit the child becomes more challenging.

If the parents’ respective attorneys cannot find a “win-win,” the court will make the decisions based on what’s best for the child* and frankly, with little patience for bickering parents. The court will consider each parent’s ability to properly raise the child; the child’s age and sex; educational considerations; a parent’s career choices (whether they travel often, for instance); both parents’ wishes and, in some instances, the child’s wishes, assuming he or she is old enough to make such a choice.

*Both sides will work to find that solution, unless there are concerns of abuse of any kind. In that kind of situation, others will need to step in to investigate.

If custody issues are being challenged or if you wish to challenge custody arrangements already in place, be sure to seek out a qualified New York child custody lawyer who can help navigate you through these emotional and deeply personal decisions.

For more information, speak to our child custody attorneys now.