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Child Custody Lawyer, Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. Educates On Available Options

One of the major issues that arise for most Long Island couples during divorce proceedings is that of child custody. For a family that is used to living together under one roof it may be difficult for either parent to imagine living separate and apart from their children. While this is an unfortunate outcome of most divorces, there are a variety of arrangements available to you and your spouse in order to make the transition as easy as possible.

How Do I Get Custody of My Children After My Divorce in Nassau County or Suffolk County on Long Island?

If you are looking to petition for child custody in Nassau County or Suffolk County on Long Island, New York, you must first be sure all jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied. The children must have resided within the State of New York for at least six months in order for a New York court to have jurisdiction over a child custody issue. Of course, this residency requirement is not an issue if your children have lived in New York for their entire lives. If on the other hand you have just moved to New York with your children, you will have to either wait six months to file for custody in New York, or file in the state where the children resided for the previous six months.

What Factors Do Nassau County and Suffolk County Courts Use to Determine Child Custody After My Divorce?

When one thinks of child custody, most people initially assume that the mother will be granted full legal custody. However, there is no such presumption in New York, and that means that either parent can be granted custody.

New York courts follow what is known as the “best interests of the child” standard. Under this standard, the court will consider the child’s relationship with each parent, the parent’s relative age and health, the child’s relationships with other members of the parent’s family, and if the child would be separated from his or her siblings (this list is not exhaustive). Each child custody situation is different, and there are no black and white guidelines. Therefore, it is important to discuss the specifics of your case with your child custody lawyer, Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. will be happy to help you learn what might be important in your case in Nassau County or Suffolk County court.

What are the Different Types of Child Custody Arrangements?

It is important to differentiate between Legal and Physical Child Custody. Legal Custody concerns the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child, while Physical Custody simply refers to where the child will live.

  • Sole Legal Child Custody: in a Sole Legal Custody arrangement, one parent has the right to make all major decisions for the child. This includes decisions about education, healthcare, and religious instruction, amongst other things. This arrangement permits only one parent to have custody of the child. The non-custodial parent will often still have visitation rights, however, in extreme circumstances, the non-custodial parent may have no visitation privileges at all.
  • Joint Legal Child Custody: if you and your spouse can communicate amicably, you may wish to opt for a joint legal custody arrangement. Under such terms, the parents act as a unit in deciding the above mentioned “major decisions” for each child. However, if both parents cannot reach an agreement, the action cannot be taken. Therefore, it is extremely important to be sure you have the type of relationship with your spouse that permits for open and honest communication about your children. Because each parent will at one point have physical custody of the children, the daily, routine decisions of the children’s lives are made by the parent who has physical custody of the child at that time.
  • Sole Physical Child Custody: in a Sole Physical Custody arrangement, one parent is declared the “custodial parent” and the children reside primarily with him or her. The other parent, having been declared the non-custodial parent, will retain visitation rights with the children. While the non-custodial parent and children may miss each other, this type of arrangement fosters a feeling of stability in the child as he or she will continuously reside in the same house.
  • Joint Physical Custody or Shared Custody: in a Joint Physical Custody arrangement, both parents are awarded physical custody of the children. Such an arrangement may be satisfied by having the children live with their mother for one month or week and then reside with their father for that same period of time. While this type of arrangement may be most appealing to the parents, you must consider how the constant back and forth movement may affect the children’s well-being and feelings of “home.”

Custody of your children, both legal and physical, is a sensitive matter in any divorce. Before discussing the issue with your child custody lawyer, Long Island couples should attempt to reach an agreement together so that they have an idea of which arrangement may work best.

What about Parenting Time and Holiday Schedules?

When you enter into a sole residential custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent will be awarded parenting time with the minor children. The right to parenting time does not come in one-size-fits-all, and the type and extent of the parenting time depends on the individual circumstances. If, for example, there have been instances of domestic violence or doubts about the safety of the children when with the non-custodial parent, the non-custodial parent may be awarded only supervised time or no time at all. If the custodial and non-custodial parent cannot communicate amicably at all and there are concerns over tensions when dropping-off or picking up the children at the residence of either parent, the parents may agree to drop-off and pick-up the children at a neutral location, or direct a third party to be present when the change of custody for parenting time is taking place.

Holidays Can Be Stressful in Child Custody Arrangements

Holidays, especially the winter season holidays, are a stressful time for most American families – where to go, what to eat, what to wear, and what gifts to purchase. However, if you are recently divorced or considering a divorce, the thought of not spending the holidays with your children can perhaps be the most stressful thought of all. Thankfully there are a variety of arrangements you and your partner can enter into to help avoid the last minute stress of where your children will spend Christmas, Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving.

Because every family is different, the following are simply suggestions that I have seen work in the past, and are not meant to be a set of rules that you must follow. You and your spouse are free to create any agreement that works best for you and your children.

  1. As the first option, you and your spouse may agree to follow the 12-month calendar with one parent having the children for the first holiday, the other parent having the children for the second holiday, and so-on and so-forth.
  2. Or, if you want to ensure that you each get to spend each holiday with the children, you can alternative years, i.e., the children will spend Christmas with you in odd years and they will spend Christmas with your spouse in even years.
  3. You may also decide to enter into a more personalized agreement; perhaps your favorite Holiday is Halloween, while you are indifferent to Christmas and your spouse enjoys Thanksgiving. You can agree that you will have the children on the days that mean the most to you.
  4. If you and your spouse are having a difficult time coming to an agreement, you may consider the option of splitting each holiday evenly, with you enjoying five hours with the children and your spouse enjoying five hours with the children.

Questions About Child Custody and Visitation on Long Island?

See this post to learn everything you need to know about Child Custody and Visitation on Long Island.

To learn more about what you need to know about Child Custody on Long Island, visit this page on Child Custody or contact us at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary consultation.

Need Help with Child Custody on Long Island, NY? We’re Here for You

The most important thing to remember when trying to resolve a child custody issue in Nassau County or Suffolk County is that child custody arrangements and battles impact your children the most. If possible, try to have such discussions outside the presence of your children, and do not be afraid to seek the advice of your child custody lawyer, Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., who may be able to suggest a child custody agreement you and your spouse had never considered. For a free initial Child Custody consultation with an experienced, compassionate Long Island divorce attorney, contact us at 631-923-1910.

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Darlene Iglio
Darlene Iglio
15:27 30 Jul 22
Robert has been my attorney for 14+ years. Through the years he has taken every call, and responded to every email, even when we were not dealing with an active court matter. Most recently, he, and his amazing team, did everything to see me through a lengthy and draining child support modification. His experience with Divorce, and Family Court, matters makes him extremely knowledgeable; therefore, if he doesn’t feel you can benefit from an action, he will advise you as much. He is not in this business to charge you fees just for the sake of making money. He will listen to you, take your feelings into consideration, and then take the time to explain how the Law works. The Courts do not care about your feelings but he, and his entire firm, genuinely do care about you AND work to obtain the best possible outcome! All the while, truly understanding these matters are very difficult to go through emotionally AND the financial impact they have on you. I highly recommend Robert and his firm… you will not be disappointed.
86 Godhand
86 Godhand
00:41 30 Jul 22
Mr Hornberger is an absolute amazing lawyer. He helped me on every level weather it be answering emails extremely fast, always called me back right aways and never acted frustrated towards me and my thousand questions. Mr Hornberger is extremely personable, caring and smart. I would highly highly recommend him to anyone especially someone like me who has no idea what court is going to be like. Again a great person and an even better lawyer
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Darlene Iglio
Darlene Iglio
15:27 30 Jul 22
Robert has been my attorney for 14+ years. Through the years he has taken every call, and responded to every email,... even when we were not dealing with an active court matter. Most recently, he, and his amazing team, did everything to see me through a lengthy and draining child support modification. His experience with Divorce, and Family Court, matters makes him extremely knowledgeable; therefore, if he doesn’t feel you can benefit from an action, he will advise you as much. He is not in this business to charge you fees just for the sake of making money. He will listen to you, take your feelings into consideration, and then take the time to explain how the Law works. The Courts do not care about your feelings but he, and his entire firm, genuinely do care about you AND work to obtain the best possible outcome! All the while, truly understanding these matters are very difficult to go through emotionally AND the financial impact they have on you. I highly recommend Robert and his firm… you will not be disappointed.read more
86 Godhand
86 Godhand
00:41 30 Jul 22
Mr Hornberger is an absolute amazing lawyer. He helped me on every level weather it be answering emails extremely fast,... always called me back right aways and never acted frustrated towards me and my thousand questions. Mr Hornberger is extremely personable, caring and smart. I would highly highly recommend him to anyone especially someone like me who has no idea what court is going to be like. Again a great person and an even better lawyerread more
Jenny Allen
Jenny Allen
13:26 18 Jun 22
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently,... offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.read more
Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin
21:06 25 Jan 22
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I... like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict divorce.read more
rrezarta lekaj
rrezarta lekaj
20:47 24 Nov 21
Christine is truly the best there is. She is beyond professional, personable, genuine, extremely trusting, and has made... such a stressful and emotional time for my family and I easier to get through. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your guidance, your support, and being there every step of the way. I would highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to anyone that is in need for legal advice - you will be in the best hands.read more
Janine Martello D'onofrio
Janine Martello D'onofrio
21:00 02 Oct 21
Rob and Christine are the very best out there!I can not say enough about them. They both have helped me so much in... different matters throughout the last several years . They have gone over and beyond!I highly recommend this law firm !read more
Tara Tocci
Tara Tocci
20:59 17 Sep 21
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting... me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!read more
cristina romero
cristina romero
20:17 17 Sep 21
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C were phenomenal in every way. Robert was very genuine, patient and professional. Walking in,... I had no idea what to expect but he went above and beyond to explain the entire process thoroughly. He guided and informed me of my rights. Patty was amazing, she answered every question I had no matter how many times I called, she was very understanding. I highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Even if its just for questions on how to navigate this process.read more
Kerri
Kerri
16:57 17 Sep 21
Rob and his team are by far one of the greatest! Patty is amazing and will make sure all of your questions are... addressed and responded to. Rob and his team made a very tough time in my life as simple as possible. Rob is extremely knowledgeable and very empathetic. Patty was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend this firm to anyone that needs a great divorce attorney. Thank you for all of your help!read more
Angela Thearle
Angela Thearle
00:21 07 Aug 21
Hornberger law was the best choice I made when I needed to go to family court with my ex for custody of my children.... They were there at any time when I neeeded them. Going through a custody battle can be a huge emotional rollercoaster and very painful. They helped me through it and made it less painful and heartbreaking. And I got the outcome plus more than I expectedread more
Tammy Granville
Tammy Granville
11:49 04 Jul 21
Everyone was very professional. Never had to call to get an update on my case. Someone always updated me on a regular... basis.read more
LilMissPerfct Dessie
LilMissPerfct Dessie
06:46 11 Feb 21
I am a graduate of Norland English nanny college. I thank God every day that Mr. Robert Hornberger protected my clients... in the legal ways i could not. Children are a blessing not a blender to be fought over during some silly spat!read more
Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with... Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.read more
A Google User
A Google User
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to... achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.read more
Ann Masten
Ann Masten
17:48 12 May 20
I am a paralegal in an unrelated field of law. I phoned Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today intending to refer a client... to their office. Instead (and despite that we are the midst of the present crisis), Mr. Hornberger himself graciously accommodated my questions over the telephone, and was generous with his time and adroit in his response, saving our client a small fortune in unnecessary legal fees. I have not had any similar experience, in which counsel was so generous with his expertise, in 22+ years of interacting with prominent, local attorneys, and the client is overjoyed. Based on this experience, I would now whole -heartedly recommend this firm as trusted professionals to any client requiring a firm expert in family law and related legal issues.read more
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Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when... you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.read more
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working... with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.read more
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my... consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!read more
Rob Spielmann
Rob Spielmann
22:15 27 Feb 20
They made our process so easy. They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up. Very friendly
Ashley Hubner
Ashley Hubner
20:30 14 Feb 20
Navigating my divorce was a challenging experience to say the least, but I was supported and guided every step of the... way by my attorney, Robert. With the daunting task of hiring a divorce lawyer, I knew I would need someone with the right combination of knowledge, compassion and integrity. Robert has a strong background in family law, sincere character and direct communication to be superior to the others. He and his staff were professional and caring. I always felt I was in good hands. I highly recommend the Law Offices Hornberger and Verbitsky for the legal expertise, compassion and understanding of the many complex facets associated with divorce.read more
Thomas Livingston
Thomas Livingston
21:31 26 Jan 20
Robert and Christine are the epitome of professionalism. They helped us with the purchase of our new home. They were... efficient, dedicated, and focused on making our closing as seamless as possible.read more
Sheila Vasata
Sheila Vasata
23:35 14 Jan 20
Robert Hornberger has been a friend of mine and my family for years. He has helped us all in ways that are too... numerable to mention. I went through a divorce that I don’t think I could’ve done if I didn’t have Robert by my side. He is vivacious, motivated, knowledgeable, and has an extreme desire to succeed and excel...and he does! He goes over and above for all of his clientele. I would recommend his law firm to anybody who is looking for a Great Lawyer with integrity!read more
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