How to Make the Most Out of Parenting Time

by | Sep 9, 2022 | Co-parenting

Parenting time is an important part of a healthy parent-child relationship.

How to make the most of it is an important question to ask. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to make the most of parenting time when custody and visitation are contested.

Below are the basics you need to know about parenting time in New York and what to do if your parenting time is contested.

What is Custody and What are the Different Types of Custody in New York?

Child custody is a legal term that refers to the rights and responsibilities of parents regarding their children. This is important when parents decide to separate or get divorced. In many cases, the parents outline decisions about where the children will live, who will have access to them, and what kind of contact they will have with their parents. This process often involves a mediation session.

When parents cannot agree on child custody, a judge may be called in to make a decision. In these types of cases, child custody is determined by a court after a thorough evaluation of the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding each case.

mom and daughter painting an art project

Types of Child Custody in New York

Custody in New York can be broken down into four types — Physical Custody, Legal Custody, Joint Physical Custody, and Joint Legal Custody:

Physical Custody

Physical custody is the right to have a child live with one parent or the other in their physical presence. This can be determined by a court, or it can be an arrangement that both parents agree to. If one parent has sole physical custody, the child lives with that parent full-time.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is a term used to describe the right of a parent to make decisions on behalf of their child, usually including issues such as education, health care, and religious upbringing. It is common for the parent who has been granted physical custody to also have legal custody of the child(ren). In some cases, legal custody will be awarded to the parent who is wealthier or has the more stable employment, in other cases the parent’s judgment is the most important consideration. Remember, when it comes to the children and custody, best interests are always the guidepost for decisions.

Joint Physical Custody

Joint physical custody is a legal term that refers to situations in which both parents have regular physical access to and share responsibility for the children. Children flow between the parent’s homes on a daily, weekly or on an otherwise alternating schedule. It is typically seen as a preferable arrangement for parents, as it allows for the children to have close relationships with both parents without the interference of one parent or the other. While joint physical custody is not always possible or desirable, it is becoming increasingly common as more and more families adopt a co-parenting approach to raising their children. More and more parents (and courts) are recognizing that the most important thing is to have low conflict rather than few transitions.

Joint Legal Custody

Joint legal custody refers to a parental arrangement in which both parents have the authority to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, even if they do not live together. This type of custody arrangement is often favored by courts because it allows for the child to have two strong and committed parental figures in his or her life.

How Does Child Custody Affect Parenting Time?

Child custody determines how much parenting time you get, as well as who makes decisions about your child’s upbringing. As we have shown you, when parents divorce or separate, one of the most critical decisions they face is how to divide their time with their children.

Generally speaking, the parent with primary custody decides where the child resides. The non-custodial parent typically has visitation rights, which means he or she can see the child at certain designated times. In some cases, joint custody is granted to both parents, which allows them to share equally in decision-making. In some cases, one parent may be ordered to completely give up parenting rights.

So, you need to endeavor to get the most favorable New York child custody arrangement if you want more parenting time.

dad talking to son in front of stone stairs

Tips for Getting More Parenting Time in New York

1. Consult a family law attorney.

Consulting with a family law attorney can be an important step in securing more parenting time in New York. This is because family law is often the jurisdiction in which parenting time disputes are decided. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, as well as guide you through the process of filing a petition for custody or visitation.

2. Mediate with the other parent.

Mediation is a process in which two people, usually ex-spouses but sometimes business partners or close friends, try to resolve a dispute by talking it out.

There are many benefits to using mediation. First and foremost, it is affordable. Second, it can help you and your spouse get on the same page about what you want for your child. Third, it can create a more peaceful environment where both parents feel like they got what they wanted. Finally, mediation can help you reach an agreement on important parenting decisions without resorting to expensive litigation or lengthy court proceedings. If you are experiencing difficulty getting parenting time or if you would like to increase the amount of time you spend with your kids, mediation may be the solution for you.

Is Parenting Time Mediation Legally Binding in New York?

In New York, parenting time mediation is legally binding once it is agreed to in a formal stipulation and approved by the court. It must be:

  • Made with the best interests of the child(ren) in mind;
  • By a mediator who is unbiased and certified as fit to conduct child custody mediation services in New York.
  • Agreed to and signed by both parties, preferably in the presence of an attorney

Speak to a New York Family Law Attorney and Mediator

If you are a parent considering a custody or visitation arrangement for your child, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney at our firm.

Gabrielle Hartley LLC Better Apart Divorce and Mediation

Gabrielle Hartley, LLC

Gabrielle Hartley is a New York family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. She has worked in the New York State Supreme Court and helped bring hundreds of high conflict cases to a resolution. She is also a mediator with greater than twenty five years who can be a valuable resource if you and your spouse prefer to resolve your disagreements without going through traditional legal means.

Contact our law firm today to speak about your specific situation. We will work with you to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Gabrielle Hartley LLC Better Apart Divorce and Mediation

Gabrielle Hartley, LLC

Gabrielle Hartley is a New York family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. She has worked in the New York State Supreme Court and helped bring hundreds of high conflict cases to a resolution. She is also a mediator with greater than twenty five years who can be a valuable resource if you and your spouse prefer to resolve your disagreements without going through traditional legal means.

Contact our law firm today to speak about your specific situation. We will work with you to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

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DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. 

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