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As a Long Island Child Custody Lawyer, Divorce and Family Law Attorney, I know it’s no secret to most people in Suffolk and Nassau that child custody and visitation are at the forefront of most parents’ concerns in the event of a divorce or legal separation.

Nevertheless, adjusting to shared custody or a new visitation schedule can be difficult. It can be even more difficult to adjust when one parent cannot be consistent and stick to the schedule for whatever reason.

What if One Parent Won’t Follow the Child Custody & Visitation Schedule?

Studies have shown that children benefit greatly from the involvement of both parents after divorce, but many parents have trouble relying on the other parent to follow the custody and visitation schedules, and wonder what remedies they have under New York law. Enforcement of a child custody agreement on Long Island is possible if and when a parent is not following the court order for custody and visitation. Custody and visitation arrangements are created either by an agreement or court order. These arrangements are therefore legally binding and each party is obligated to comply.

What Constitutes a Child Custody or Visitation Violation?

Violations of child custody and visitation agreements may take the form of failing to show up on scheduled visitation days, or failing to return the child on time. Sometimes this is simply due to irresponsibility on the part of a parent, and other times it is used as a spiteful or passive aggressive tactic to hurt the other parent. Either way, failing to comply with court orders is hurtful to the children and to the family as a whole. It can also lead to consequences in Suffolk County or Nassau County court on Long Island.

How To Seek a Suffolk County or Nassau County Court’s Help

When a Suffolk County or Nassau County court orders a child custody and visitation agreement, both parents must follow the order to the best of their abilities. If one parent violates the order, the other parent can file a petition in court asking the court to enforce the prior order. The petition will state how and when a parent violated the visitation order. There may be a hearing that includes the testimony of both parents about the specific occurrences at issue, such as the dates, times, and circumstances connected to the violation. In response, if the judge finds there are sufficient facts to show a violation, a judge may change the order or impose sanctions on the parent who violated the order.

What is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)?

Another mechanism employed by the state of New York to ensure that custody orders are followed is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, also known as UCCJEA. When a noncustodial parent takes a child out of state against a court order, this act is considered kidnapping. The UCCJEA was enacted in New York to discourage and correct interstate kidnapping of children by a noncustodial parent. When a noncustodial parent takes and keeps a child out of state without permission, there is a question about which state has the authority to make and enforce the child custody orders. All of the United States have adopted the UCCJEA. As a result, states cooperate with one another to enforce child custody orders from one state even when the child and noncustodial parent is in another state. However, it is important to understand that the UCCJEA contemplates several factors in determining which state is the “home state” and can make or change custody orders. Navigating the law on interstate child custody and visitation can be complicated, and it is important that you have a knowledgeable Long Island child custody attorney to help.

Questions 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.

Contact Us if You Need Help with Your Child Custody & Visitation Agreement

If you have an issue with your current child custody and visitation agreement, it is important that you consult with an experienced Long Island child custody attorney. The family law attorneys at the Office of Robert E. Hornberger, PC, are experienced in all areas of law involving Child Custody and Visitation, and can assist you with your decision to petition for a new child custody order or enforce or modify an existing one. Contact our experienced child custody attorneys at 631-923-1910 for a free consultation.

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Free Long Island Divorce Guide

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Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better. Download your Free Guide to New York Divorce here.