Child Custody and Support

Child Custody and Support

Help for Buffalo Families in Child Support, Child Custody and Visitation Matters

Since 1976, Pusatier, Abbott, Sugarman & Martin, LLP has served the people of Erie and Niagara counties in obtaining the best results for complex child custody issues. Our job as your attorneys is to provide you with advice and guidance so you can effectively decide what outcome is in your children's best interest in a separation, divorce or other custody dispute. We then advocate on your behalf and focus on the achievement of that outcome, whether in Supreme or Family Court.

Understanding child custody.

Child custody is made up of two separate concepts:

  • Physical custody, which is where the child will reside.
  • Legal custody, which involves decision making about significant issues in a child's life (for example, decisions having to do with a child's health, education and welfare).

Joint legal custody is encouraged where you and your co-parent can successfully communicate and problem-solve. If parents have joint custody and yet are poor communicators and problem solvers, decision making to maximize a child's best interest is difficult and joint custody is often not recommended.

Whether there will be joint or sole custody, which parent will have physical custody and what the custodial access schedule will be are all issues that are often negotiated and agreed upon. However if the parties cannot agree, our attorneys can successfully represent many parents who need a judge to make a ruling on these issues.

If you go before a judge in a contested divorce, however:

  • The judge will most likely select one parent to have sole custody.
  • If a parent has sole custody, they are the sole decision-maker on significant issues regarding the child.
  • If the court awards sole legal custody, that parent will usually also have physical custody of the child, subject to the custodial access (visitation) rights of the other parent.
  • If you are the non-residential parent, one of the family law attorneys at Pusatier, Abbott, Sugarman & Martin, LLP in Buffalo can work to make certain that you, our client, will have the parenting time with your child that you need.

Understanding child support calculations and more.

Child support is another major issue that arises in divorce and family court proceedings.

  • Paying child support is the law - it is not a punishment for the parent, but a requirement to financially provide for your child or children.
  • Child support calculations are made by considering each parent's income and considering other factors in the law.
  • The experienced child support attorneys at Pusatier, Abbott, Sugarman & Martin, LLP will advocate to ensure you receive or pay workable child support obligations in your divorce settlement or decree or in any family court proceedings.
  • We can also assist if there has been a material change in your situation that may change your child support payments.

If you have questions or need assistance with a child custody or child support issue, call the Buffalo law firm of Pusatier, Abbott, Sugarman & Martin, LLP at 716-873-6765 or contact us online.