How to Obtain Child Custody Visitation in New York

child watching parents argue

Applying for visitation can be a difficult process. Divorced couples are encouraged to try and reach an agreement that is mutual before taking it to court. However, if a mutual agreement cannot be reached then unfortunately the court will be left to decide the entire visitation schedule. Below our New York child custody lawyers explain the different methods to obtain visitation rights.

Visitation Options

Visitation petitions may be heard as part of an original child custody hearing in family court. A parent, grandparent, or sibling may file a visitation petition. Parents may also oppose visitation requests. Ultimately, the court determines whether granting the petition is in the best interest of the child. There are various kinds of visits depending on the child custody arrangements and other circumstances.

  • Unsupervised visits: The child and adult spend time together alone or with others without restriction.

  • Supervised visits: Even a formerly abusive parent can usually have supervised visits with a child. With supervised visitation, the parent, grandparent, or sibling may spend time with the child, but only with a person chosen by the court present. This usually occurs when a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, or other concern regarding the child’s safety exists.

Work Out a Solution Together

The first option would be for the couple to come up with their own agreement and present it to the judge. This is only good for couples that get along. You would need to submit the agreement to the appropriate court signed. Once the agreement is approved, it would then be converted into an actual order of consent. Parents need to make sure that they don't violate this order or there would ultimately be consequences.


Mediation would be the first step for those parents unable to reach a mutual agreement. Both parents would have to work through a court-appointed third party to try and come up with an agreement. If mediation doesn't work out, the parents would have to return to court. The court would then send both parents to arbitration which would in turn come up with a final agreement for them.

Parents should also keep in mind that agreements made in both mediation or arbitration are neither binding. Courts will come to a final decision regarding custody if none of the above steps work out for the parents. There are many factors that the judge will take into consideration when he determines how custody will work out.

Petitions for visitations can go smoothly or they can drag out depending on the relationship the parents have. If you need help with child custody matters please contact Eiges & Orgel, PLLC today at (347) 848-1850.

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