Over 30 years of experience in divorce & family law

Child Custody Lawyer

H. Michael Stern, Esq., child custody lawyer, provides over 30 years of time tested courtroom skills and a history of superb results as a custody litigator. Having an experienced child custody lawyer is essential to competently manage the complexities of child custody issues and achieve successful results.

Most parents want to develop a warm, loving, enduring and life long relationship with their children. When parents separate or divorce, a new dynamic sometimes comes into play. One of the parents, usually the one who has the children most of the time, loses trust or confidence in the parenting abilities or skills of the other parent. Conflict arises concerning the allocation of time that the children spend with the other parent, or the extent of decision making relating to the children that the current residential parent is willing to share, or both. In many cases, one parent will act unreasonably to gain leverage in negotiations, or to exact revenge on the other parent for perceived mistreatment during their marriage or relationship. Sometimes the conflict is pathological in nature. The children are too often treated as pawns in this struggle. There are many causes, but the outcome is often the same. The other parent is deprived of contact with the children, or is excluded from co parenting the children. There are other situations too, but this one is prevalent.

Are you in a child custody situation?
Is the other parent keeping you from exercising all of your parental rights, or interfering with them?
Is the other parent unfit to co parent with you?
If any of these questions apply to your circumstances, then contact my office for a free case review.
I will strive to get you the best results possible in resolving your child custody dispute.
Please contact me at 516 747 2290 or 718 DIVORCE to schedule a free in office consultation to discuss your matter.

Volumes have been written about child custody law in New York, so I will be brief. In theory, child custody determinations in settlements and in Court decisions are based upon the best interests of the child. Simply, child custody is the legal structure and framework in which a child is raised by his parents or parental substitutes. A custodial parent is the parent entrusted with providing a home for child and making decisions concerning the child until the child attains the age of 18 in New York. A parent with visitation rights has the right to visit with his or her child for established time frames (otherwise known as a visitation schedule) throughout the year. While entrusted with the child, the visiting parent may, or may not be granted any decision making authority. If determined by a Court, a parent with visitation rights only has those rights (if any) which the Court conferred in the decision awarding those rights.

If interference with parenting rights and parental unfitness are not an issue, or the parents elect to pursue mediation, then there is another choice. Parents can to try to work out their differences concerning their children out of court rather than engage in embattled conflict in court if it can be avoided. Child custody litigation is time consuming, stressful and can be very costly. If a custodial agreement is made between the parents, it is not necessarily binding on the Court unless approved by the Court (and there are pitfalls, so it is important that the custodial agreement is finalized properly under the supervision of counsel). If the parents make a custodial agreement, the visiting parent can be conferred with certain decision making rights that he or she would not otherwise possess regarding the child. Joint custody refers to a variety of custodial arrangements. For example, parents can split their parenting time or arrange it as they see fit. Additionally, parents can allocate decision making authority on all of the major and minor issues that are encountered in raising a child. it is important for a parent in a custodial dispute to know his or her parental rights Historically, joint custodial arrangements were frowned upon by the Courts. The passage of time has changed this perspective. Now, many Judges now start the discussion with an eye towards the fairness inherent in a joint custodial arrangement. However, joint custody is not available if a parent is unfit and it would be inimical to the child’s best interests. Joint custody works best when both parents communicate and agree on what is in their children’s best interests. I can assist you in resolving your child custody issues in reaching a parenting agreement through individual representation or mediation.

Please feel free to contact H. Michael Stern, Child Custody Attorney & Mediator at 516 747 2290 or 718 DIVORCE for a free consultation to discuss the best approach to resolve your child custody issues.

My office is conveniently located in Nassau County, Long Island.


This is attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.