Suffolk County Visitation Lawyer

People often have trouble coming to grips with the fact that the law that dictates child custody and visitation arrangements may require a different outcome than what they had hoped for. The law is designed to do what is in the best interest of the child, and more often than not, that means that both parents will be involved in the child’s life. Even if one parent played a minimal role raising the child during the marriage, that parent may be granted significant custody or visitation rights. Hiring an experienced Suffolk County visitation lawyer is the best way to ensure your rights are protected. At the Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg we will educate you about the realities of the law and assist you in achieving your desired result.

Visitation is a joint right of the parent and the child and the courts, in an effort to solidify the emotional bond between a non-custodial parent and a child, tremendously favor frequent and regular visitation. Regardless of whether the parents were ever married, both parents have a right to access to their child unless extraordinary circumstances exist, a parent has forfeited such rights or it is not in the best interest of the child to visit with the parent.

A visitation order does not have to be limited to simply parenting time with the child. It can also include telephone contact, video chat, e-mails, etc.

A very common question is whether the custodial parent can do anything to force the non-custodial parent to visit with the child. The answer is no. Even if the non-custodial parent has court-ordered visitation, the court will not require that parent to visit with the child. A parent’s failure to visit with the child may be grounds to modify or terminate the parent’s visitation rights but that must be done by motion or petition to the court.

Who may obtain visitation rights?

Generally, a parent’s rights to care and custody of his or her child are superior to the rights of any non-parent and therefore, the law limits standing (or who may petition for visitation) with a child. The following individuals have standing to petition for visitation:

  • Non-custodial parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents but only in limited situations
    • where the grandparents’ child has passed away
    • where the grandparents had custody of the child for an substantial period of time
    • otherwise grandparents may be permitted to seek visitation but first have to prove standing.
  • Step-parents have no visitation rights in New York unless it is by contract.

How Can a Father Get Visitation Rights in NY?

A father can seek visitation in New York through the legal system if he is not granted them voluntarily by the child’s mother or legal guardian. In the context of a divorce, custody and visitation, is ordinarily demanded as part of the initial pleadings. If the parties are not married or if married parties wish to forego a divorce at the moment, either party may petition for visitation in the Family Court.

Supervised and Restricted Visitation

In circumstances in which it would be inappropriate to grant visitation to a non-custodial parent (such as when the non-custodial parent has mental health issues), the courts may employ supervised visitation as a means to allow contact.

Supervised visitation is a legal arrangement in which a parent or another individual is allowed to spend time with a child, but this interaction is closely monitored and supervised by a third party or a professional. The purpose of supervised visitation is to ensure the safety and well-being of the child, especially in situations where there may be concerns about the visiting parent’s behavior, such as a history of abuse, neglect, substance abuse, or other issues that could pose a risk to the child.

Some key points about supervised visitation:

  1. Court-Ordered: Supervised visitation is typically ordered by a court as part of a custody or visitation arrangement. It is used when the court believes that unsupervised visitation could be harmful to the child.
  2. Supervisor: A neutral third party or a professional supervisor is responsible for overseeing the visitation sessions. This supervisor ensures that the child’s safety and well-being are protected during the visit.
  3. Location: Supervised visitation may take place in a designated visitation center, the supervisor’s home, or another safe and neutral location. The choice of location often depends on the specific circumstances of the case.
  4. Frequency and Duration: The frequency and duration of supervised visitation sessions can vary based on the court’s orders and the individual circumstances of the case. It may range from a few hours to entire weekends, depending on what the court deems appropriate.
  5. Goals: The primary goal of supervised visitation is to maintain or reestablish the parent-child relationship while ensuring the child’s safety and well-being. It can also provide an opportunity for the parent to demonstrate their ability to act responsibly and safely around the child.
  6. Reports: The supervisor may provide reports to the court about the interactions during supervised visits. These reports can be used by the court to make decisions about future custody and visitation arrangements.

It’s important to note that supervised visitation is typically ordered in cases where there are concerns about the child’s safety or well-being. The specific requirements and conditions of supervised visitation can vary by jurisdiction and the details of each case.

Interference with Visitation

A custodial parent who interferes with visitation may face serious repercussions. Failure to make a child available for visitation, despite the existence of a visitation order, can result in the custodial parent being found in contempt or, in extreme circumstance, can result in a change of custody in New York. In rare instances, courts have incarcerated a custodial parent for the failure to make the child available for court-ordered visitation.


Talk to a Suffolk County Visitation Lawyer Today

When confronted with visitation issues – whether you are being denied access or whether a parent is seeking visitation – you can count on the experienced and dedicated Suffolk County attorneys at Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg PC. We understand how stressful emotional turmoil these issues cause and are committed as top Long Island visitation attorneys to obtaining the resolution you and your family deserve.

We work tirelessly to help you resolve your custody and visitation issues through amicable means whenever possible. In those cases where amicable negotiations fail, our team of Suffolk County visitation attorneys aggressively fight for your interests in Court to ensure the best visitation arrangement for you and your child. When you need an experienced and preeminent NY visitation lawyer, contact the Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg, Esq., by phone 631-600-3295 or through our online intake form. We proudly offer same day consultations for all Long Island visitation matters. Contact us now to discuss your Nassau County or Suffolk County visitation case.