White Plains Lawyer Helps Solve Child Custody Issues

Her background and experience benefit you

Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. has counseled New York families in child custody disputes since 1987. Before starting her private practice, she handled the prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases in Family Cart. She also has a background, including an advanced degree, in social work. Ms. Abramson and her staff are committed to protecting your and your children’s interests as your family makes the difficult transition of divorce.

What are the different types of custody?

In New York, there are two kinds of child custody — legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is a parent’s authority to participate in the major decisions on the child’s healthcare, education and upbringing. Physical custody, also known as residential custody, refers to the time the child is physically present with a parent.

New York divorce courts favor arrangements in which both parents maintain strong ties to the child. Consequently, joint legal custody is very common. As for physical custody; however, many courts find that it’s best for the child to have a single, stable home base, so they often award primary physical custody to one parent and generous visitation to the other parent, including overnight visits. The exception is when the court determines that unsupervised visitation with a parent is not advisable because that parent has a history of domestic violence, criminality or drug addiction.

Multiple factors determine custody decisions

Judges weigh many factors when determining what sort of custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child, including:

  • Which parent has been the child’s primary caregiver
  • The parenting skills of each parent, including the ability to provide for the child’s special needs, if any
  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • If there is a history of domestic violence
  • Work schedules and childcare plans of each parent
  • The child’s relationships with siblings
  • The child’s wishes, depending on the child’s maturity
  • The ability of each parent to cooperate with the other parent and encourage a relationship with the other parent

Mediation and collaborative law are often fruitful alternatives to litigation in child custody disputes. White Plains lawyer Lauren B. Abramson is trained in mediation and collaborative law methods, which can encourage continued cooperation between the parents after a divorce. When these alternative methods don’t work, however, Ms. Abramson is a powerful advocate for her clients in court. About 80 percent of her practice is devoted to litigation.

Do mothers and fathers have the same rights?

There is no custody law on the books that says mothers automatically get custody of the children in a divorce, but some fathers go into custody disputes with this myth in mind. Under New York law, a court cannot favor either gender in custody decisions. Lauren B. Abramson is a strong advocate for fathers’ rights and works toward the goal of equal parenting time for each parent. We also seek visitation time for grandparents who meet the requirements of the New York Domestic Relations Law.

Does domestic violence affect custody?

New York law requires courts to consider domestic violence by either parent in making decisions regarding custody, custody modifications or visitation. Whether the domestic violence was an isolated incident or part of a pattern of behavior, the court views it negatively when determining child custody and visitation. When a parent has a record of abuse, the court can order no visitation, supervised visitation or an arrangement in which the noncustodial parent picks up and drops off the child at a safe spot such as the local police precinct.

Call a Westchester County child custody lawyer today

Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. works with you to pursue the outcome that best meets your needs and the needs of your children. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with weekend and evening appointments available as needed. Call us today at 914-908-6829 or contact us online to arrange a meeting. We serve individuals and families throughout Westchester and Putnam counties, including White Plains, Harrison, New Rochelle, Bedford, Armonk, Bronxville, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Somers, Croton-on-Hudson, Carmel, Peekskill and Rye.