Answers For Your Child Custody Questions

How are custody decisions decided?

Whether an order is issued by a judge or parents are able to reach a settlement, "the best interest of the child" will always be the guiding principle. No agreement will be approved if it is not in the best interest of the child in the eyes of the law.

With that said, it has been our experience as custody lawyers that negotiated outcomes are better for parents and children, as they are at the heart of the issue and will be the ones living with the outcome. That is why we recommend setting aside emotions, being flexible, and working together to reach an outcome all parties can live with.

Can I get sole custody?

Many parents want sole custody for a number of reasons, but it is almost always an unrealistic expectation. Unless there is child abuse, drug addiction or another severe issue in play, joint custody is the norm.

My ex is talking poorly about me to my children. Can anything be done?

You may be experiencing an issue known as parental alienation, and this is not okay. We can help you determine whether this is the case and pursue your rights. The presence of parental alienation can have an impact on custody decisions in litigated cases.

How does custody affect child support?

The custody agreement is one of the factors that will be explored in a child support case. In general, a parent who has primary physical custody of a child will be more likely to receive support, but every case has its own unique factors. Learn more about child support.

My child wants to live with me. I should have custody, right?

It is not that simple. Courts are not required to consider what the child wants (but they may consider it if a child is a teen), they are required to look out for what is in the child's best interest. Almost all cases result in some form of joint or shared custody, so it is best to put issues aside and focus on what is best for you child, regardless of how you feel about your ex.

My child's other parent wants to relocate? Can that happen?

Yes, but it will have to be approved by a judge, who will look at a number of factors. They include what effect the move will have on your child and your relationship with him or her, as well as what benefits the child may experience as a result of the relocation. Whether you are seeking to move or want to prevent a move, it is best to have an experienced attorney working on your behalf.

What can I expect when fighting for custody?

The process for determining child custody can be relatively short or take a long time. The most influential factor is whether parents are fighting or whether they are being flexible and working toward a realistic solution. We do not recommend "fighting", as it is expensive, lengthy, and can be emotionally damaging for children. Behavior during a custody case can set the tone for the ongoing parenting relationship, so it is best to lay a foundation of cooperation.

Who can help me with child custody in the Buffalo area?

At the law office of Keith B. Schulefand, Esq. in Williamsville, New York, we have been handling custody issues for more than 25 years.

We hope you have found this child custody FAQ useful. If you have more questions or desire legal representation for your custody issues, contact us today for a free phone consultation with a proven attorney.