Child Custody

Dutchess County Child Custody Attorney

Providing Skilled Representation for Custody Cases in NY STATE

At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, our family law lawyers understand the gravity of these proceedings, and we further realize the importance of reaching as swift and amicable a resolution as possible.

If you and your ex can agree to terms of custody and visitation for the most part, then our skilled negotiators can ensure that your rights are protected in a robust legal document.

If the other parent simply won’t cooperate, our trial-tested lawyers in NY know how to vigorously protect your parental rights in court.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer for Child Custody?

While you might not be required to have a lawyer for your case, a lawyer can help you to have a stronger chance to get the outcome that you deserve.

The child’s best interests are the most important factor to a judge, but a skilled child custody attorney can also help to prove your parental rights in court.

What Type of Lawyer Handles Child Custody?

The type of lawyer that handles child custody has much experience in the area of family law which includes matters concerning supervision, visitation, support, and alimony.

Family law attorneys are very knowledgeable in representing clients with family issues.

Why Choose Our Family Lawyers?

  • We’re backed by 75+ years of combined experience
  • Awards that include 2015 AVVO Clients’ Choice for Family Attorney
  • We proudly serve Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster & Westchester Counties
  • Confidential consultation to discuss your case

Our lawyers will do everything in our legal power to preserve your child(ren)’s best interests, providing unflappable, tenacious advocacy to ensure a favorable outcome.

Discover what dedicated, pragmatic representation can achieve for you and your family.

We encourage you to take advantage of your consultation!

Dealing with a custody dispute? Call (845) 605-4330 or contact us online to set up an in-office consultation.

Determining Child Custody in New York State

A separating couple will have the opportunity to reach an agreement out of Dutchess County family court through the process of mediation.

If the couple cannot agree on a plan, the court may see fit to intervene and issue a child custody order. The court will assess many factors when determining an arrangement.

Every family court judge will act according to what is presumed to be in the best interests of the child(ren).

According to New York Domestic Relations Law, the courts may consider the following in your case:

  • A child custody agreement that was developed in the past and is currently being used successfully by both parents and all minor children involved in the marriage
  • Which parent has been a primary caregiver or nurturer in the past
  • The need for stability in the child(ren)'s life
  • Parenting skills of each parent; strengths and weaknesses of each parent
  • Parents' financial ability to provide for child(ren)'s special needs
  • The quality of the home environment that each parent provides
  • Mental and physical health of the parents
  • Whether there has been domestic violence in the family
  • Work schedules and child care plans of each parent
  • Child(ren)'s relationship with siblings
  • The child(ren)'s desires or preferences
  • Each parent's ability to cooperate with the other parent and to encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent

What Is an Unfit Parent in New York State?

An unfit parent in New York is a parent through their conduct fails to provide proper guidance, care, or support. Also, if there is abuse, neglect, or substance abuse issues, that parent will be deemed unfit.

What Does Full/Sole Custody Mean in New York?

In New York, full custody means that one parent has the authority to make decisions about the child. The other parent may have the right to receive educational or medical information, but they do not make the decisions.

Can a Father Get Full Custody in New York State?

A father can get full custody of their child(ren) in New York. Laws in New York used to favor the mother getting guardianship of the child and that she would have better decisions as a parent.

Now, New York laws have changed and have made it so that neither parents have a better chance of getting custody in New York.

Child custody cases are determined on a case-by-case basis. There are 4 main types of child custody in New York and they are:

  • Joint: This is where both parents share guardianship based on a schedule that is decided by them or by the court
  • Legal: This is where parents, which can be one or both of them, make the important decisions about the child(ren), such as education, medical, and religious issues
  • Sole
  • Physical: This is the parent with whom the child(ren) resides.

What Does Full Custody Mean for The Other Parent?

Full custody, often referred to as sole custody, means that one parent has been granted legal and physical custody of the child, and the other parent has limited or no custodial rights. 

It's important to note that "full custody" can be used interchangeably with "sole custody" in many jurisdictions, but the specific legal terminology may vary.

Here are the key components of full or sole custody:

  • Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility to make major decisions about the child's upbringing, including matters related to education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. In cases of full custody, the parent with sole legal custody has the exclusive authority to make these decisions without input from the non-custodial parent.
  • Physical Custody: Physical custody involves the right to have the child live with you. In cases of full custody, the parent with sole physical custody is the primary custodial parent, and the child resides with them for the majority of the time. The non-custodial parent may have visitation rights, but the child's primary residence is with the custodial parent.
  • Visitation or Parenting Time: The non-custodial parent may be granted visitation or parenting time, allowing them to spend time with the child at scheduled intervals. The specifics of visitation can vary and are often determined by a court order or a mutually agreed-upon parenting plan.
  • Child Support: In cases of full custody, the non-custodial parent is typically required to pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support is intended to contribute to the financial well-being of the child and may cover expenses such as housing, education, and healthcare.

It's important to emphasize that the term "full custody" does not necessarily mean that the non-custodial parent is completely excluded from the child's life. In many cases, non-custodial parents have visitation rights or parenting time, allowing them to maintain a relationship with their child.

Custody arrangements are often determined by a court, and decisions are made based on the best interests of the child. Factors such as the parents' ability to provide a stable and loving environment, the child's relationship with each parent, and any history of abuse or neglect may be considered in the custody determination process.

Custody arrangements can be modified if circumstances change, and it's important for parents to follow the terms of the court order or parenting plan to avoid legal complications. If you are facing custody issues, consulting with a family law attorney can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and the laws in your jurisdiction.

Advocating for Mothers & Fathers Throughout Beacon and Poughkeepsie, NY

Having served as lawyers for fathers' rights group members our attorneys completely understand the unique needs of parents. Our child custody lawyers in Dutchess County proudly represent both mothers and fathers who are seeking guardianship of their children.

We specifically work hard to facilitate agreeable arrangements that not only work for both parents but ensure the well-being of their children.

Call the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC today for a consultation and speak with us directly about any questions or concerns you may have at this time.


Read What Past Clients Had to Say

    “The outcome of the case was perfect and the case settled without any issues. I had no chance to stress!” - Rosa Gonzalez
    “Very professional, yet compassionate.” - Rebecca T.
  • Our Team Knows How to Negotiate Aggressively for Clients
  • Our Attorneys Have Substantial Trial Experience
  • Our Firm Treats Every Client With the Respect They Deserve
  • Our Team Has the Knowledge, Experience, and Resources to Successfully Try a Case
  • We have the Ability to Know Which Cases Need to Be Tried and Which Cases Can Be Settled
  • We Focus on Compassion, Communication & Effectiveness
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