HVJC provides legal assistance to parents and caregivers in custody, visitation, and child support matters, with a focus on representing non-citizens with limited English proficiency. Through our advocacy, we seek to empower immigrant parents to exercise the rights the law affords them to care for their children and provide for a bright future.
Custody and Visitation
Custody Orders assign responsibility for making decisions regarding the health, education, religion, and general welfare of a child and directs where the child will reside, subject to the access rights of the non-custodial parent. In New York, children are subject to the Court’s authority in Custody matters until they are 18-years-old. In determining custody matters, the Court’s chief concern is determining what is in the best interest of the child.
Custody can be broken into two parts: Legal Custody and Physical Custody.
Legal Custody refers to the authority to make decisions that impact a child’s health, education, religion, and general welfare. Legal Custody can be awarded solely to one parent, primarily to one parent after meaningful consultation with the other parent, or otherwise subject to detailed procedures for making decisions when the parents cannot agree.
Physical Custody involves a child’s primary residence and access time with the other parent. Physical custody can be shared based upon the specific needs of each family, so long as the best interest of the child is served. Generally physical custody is primarily awarded to the ‘custodial parent’, subject to the visitation or access rights of the other parent.
In some cases, the Court will award Sole Custody or Full Custody to one parent. In these cases, there is still generally visitation access for the non-custodial parent and access to information and records regarding the child. Where circumstances warrant, the Court will restrict the non-custodial parent’s access to promote the health and safety of the child.
Every family has unique and important differences that influence how custody and visitation orders are drafted.
Have Questions? Call (914) 308-3490 to complete an intake to learn more about your rights and how HVJC may be able to help.
If your child is primarily in your care, you are considered the custodial parent while the other parent is the non-custodial parent. Generally, the custodial parent has the right to file a petition to establish a child support order directing the non-custodial parent to support the child. In New York, ongoing child support obligations continue until a child turns 21 years of age or until there is an intervening event emancipating the child. When a child is in the care of a third party or receiving public assistance, both parents can be directed to provide support. Initial support orders may be issued by the Family Court or by the Supreme Court in matrimonial matters.
Once an initial order of support has been issued, circumstances can arise that necessitate further court action, including petitions for modification or petitions for enforcement. In the Family Court, modification and violation petitions are decided after a hearing. Both parties have a right to present evidence and witnesses to support their position.
Support Cases can vary greatly based on your individual circumstances. Call HVJC to complete an intake if you have questions about your support order.