Western New York (Livonia) Child Custody Lawyer

Assessing child custody and visitation rights in New York is not an easy matter. When you need a local (Livonia/ Lakeville) child custody attorney with the experience to view your family court case from every possible angle, contact me, Susan K. Duke, at Duke Law Firm, P.C. I serve clients with attentiveness and responsiveness in Livingston, Wyoming, Monroe, Steuben, Ontario, Allegany, Genesee and Orleans Counties.

Types Of Custody

Sole custody is when one parent has decision-making authority and the non-custodial parent does not have significant rights to information regarding the children. Joint custody is when the parents are both involved in decision-making and have open access to all records of the children. Whether custody is sole or joint, unless there is a history of abuse or criminal behavior, having the child spend significant time with both parents is the court's preference. Before making an Order or authorizing any custody agreement, the court may consider additional factors, such as the child's preferences or the testimony of an assigned child psychologist.


The family court system is incredibly busy. When crafting a visitation schedule, the courts will simply not have or take the time to properly consider and incorporate complicated factors, such as an atypical work schedule. This is a major drawback of contested child custody cases. Any agreement affecting the child will be reviewed by the Court and only approved if it appears to be in the child's best interests. When the court makes a determination after a hearing/ trial, the goal is to protect each parent's right to be a parent, while emphasizing the child's best interests.

Take The Emotion Out Of The Equation

My over 18 years of experience allow me to see the long-term implications of my clients' cases. As a result, my first priority is always to resolve your case with as little animosity and acrimony as possible. Reducing the tension allows both parties to continue partnering on parenting their children. If the other party, however, is being unreasonable, I will not hesitate to take your case to court.

Turn To Duke Law Firm, P.C.

If you need a lawyer's assistance with your child custody case or other family law concerns, you can reach out to me, Susan K. Duke. Call me at 585-443-2486, or contact me online. I offer free half-hour initial consultations, so come in today and see how I can help you.