Contrary to popular beliefs, Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains why fathers have the same rights as mothers in child custody battles.
In the past, mothers were usually given custody preference over fathers, especially with young children. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that many people in New York still believe it is the norm. Fathers continue to fear family courts because they think they will automatically lose custody over their children generally or after divorce. However, attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that in New York custody based on the “best interests of the child.”
Our court system has one main goal, and that is to give children the most stable and healthy living environment possible. Preference is given to parents over non-parents, but both mother and father have equal rights when it comes to claiming custody. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that the “best interests of the child” is a broad umbrella standard, allowing courts to use many relevant facts when determining custody and visitation arrangements.
Although a Family or Supreme Court Judge can use any relevant information available, the law provides some factors to consider. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that the law asks judges to examine the relationship of the child to each parent. Additionally, it is recommended to take into consideration the health of each parent, and if there is any history of abuse.
Typically, courts will encourage co-parenting . A custodial parent is allowed to have the child live with them. It helps if the parents live in the same jurisdiction for co-parenting and meaningful access to work. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that Courts prefer in ideal cases, that both parents spend a significant amount of time with their children. A non-custodial parent is usually awarded liberal visitation rights.
In the last three decades, we have seen shifts in family court trends, which now encourage “friendly parents,” who can put their differences aside to provide their children with proper love and care. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that now, if a parent fails to work well with the other, their custody rights may be in jeopardy, regardless of gender. It is ideal for children to have two involved parents.
Although the law attempts to create a level playing field, Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that child residential custody outcomes are heavily dependent on the circumstances. All families and individuals are unique, so no two cases are the same. Parents in New York are always encouraged to find legal counsel during a child custody case so that all options can be explored.
Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care as a child at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.