Child Custody and Support

Child custody and support as well as parenting time can be one of the most important issues for a divorcing couple. Issues involving children are highly sensitive and must be handled with sensitivity, and with the best interests of the children in mind. During the adversarial process, children can be subjected to meetings with their own attorney, forensic psychologists, and can even be called in to testify to the Judge. Mediation Is Best for handling issues involving children without the children ever having to set foot in a meeting, or in court. Parents in Long Island are turning more and more to Mediation to resolve these issues with the minimal disruption to their children’s lives. As the participants discuss issues such as child support and custody, the interests of the children are ever present and the Mediator will help guide the parties toward resolution of theses issues with the children’s best interests in mind.


Why child custody and support a sensitive issue and why Mediation Is Best to handle these matters.


Children need to be protected. Every case involving children handled in court will use the “best interest of the child” standard as it’s core tenet. The process of Mediation is no different. In fact, Mediation is Best for handling matters involving the children, especially in the case of divorce. This is because the process of Mediation allows the participants to work through their emotional issues, until all that is left is a plan on how to handle all aspects concerning the children. It creates an environment where parents can even remain friendly, if not friends, and will therefore be able to attend functions for their children at school, such as graduations, without glaring at each other. The adversarial process breeds contempt, whereas Mediation breeds cooperation. Divorcing couples can end the partnership of the marriage, but have to remain partners in parenting. There will be many times where they will have to work together as parents even after the divorce is final. Mediation is best for giving parents the skills they need to continue communicating with one another for the best interests of their children.


What is child custody and support?


Custody in New York falls under two categories. There is physical or residential custody, which means which parent the child will actually reside with. Then there is legal custody which involves decision making (other than the day-to-day decisions) involving the child. Some parents opt for a shared custody or joint custody arrangement where the responsibility of decision making are shared by both parents. This type of custody can only be agreed to, and our Mediator can explain the subtleties of each type of custody arrangement, and help decide what works best in each situation.


Child support in New York is set by a statute known as the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). There are different variables that come into play and it can be very confusing for parents to understand what the proper amount of support is under this statute. Lisa S. Fine, Esq., Attorney and Mediator, can assist the parents in determining what the right support arrangement is for them, and how it ties in with the statutory amount. Child support includes basic support, which is generally a monthly, weekly or bi-weekly payment for basic needs. There are also add-ons which include medical insurance and bills, education, day care, and even extra-curricular activities can be discussed. With Mediation, the parties can reach an agreement that complies with the law, but also preserves each parent’s interests and the interests of the children.


Mediation Is Best for Child Custody and Support agreements


Mediation Is Best for arriving at mutually agreed-upon arrangements concerning the custody and support of your children. Each parent is not just subjected to the black letter law with figures plugged into a mathematical formula and no consideration for variables. In fact, many agreements reached through Mediation have custody and parenting time arrangements that vary from the norm. Participants in a Mediation can enter into child support arrangements that vary from the Child Support Standards Act, but still comply with New York State law. Parties looking for a fair and reasonable alternative to the standard custody and child support determinations set by a court can find out if Mediation Is Best by scheduling a free consultation today. Lisa S. Fine, Esq., Attorney and Mediator, will explain how child custody and support can be resolved without setting foot in a courtroom.