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How Many Parents Does Your Child Have? Count the Courts

One of the great frustrations that people experience is to see their intentions thwarted because they did not know how to navigate the legal system. For example, parents may take the time and effort to put together a well-thought out custody agreement, but neglect to have the agreement approved by the court. Without a court sanctioned agreement, the courts and state agencies may intervene at any time and upend the agreement.

Under the doctrine of parens patriae, New York State claims a parental role over every child in its jurisdiction. The state usually wields this power to intercede when the child is in the custody of a negligent and/or abusive parent. But the state retains the right to step in and determine what is in the best interests of children, even if it is against the wishes of well-meaning parents.

New York’s highest court has ruled that it will revisit custody agreements entered into by parents, even when those agreements were agreed to on the record before the court itself. Similarly, agreements to arbitrate issues of child custody are considered invalid under New York State law.

Understanding the power and role of courts in questioning parental custodial agreements is just one example of the importance of working with an experienced New York divorce lawyer to make sure that your interests are most effectively represented.

The most important decisions relating to your divorce, your children, and your property should be your decisions. And they are best made, if possible, in coordination with your former spouse.

If you are contemplating divorce or separation, contact our office to discuss how we can help you through these important decisions.

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Randy  S.  Margulis Attorney Photo
Randy S. Margulis
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As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 25 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

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    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

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    5.0/5.0

    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

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  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

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