Achieving Results For You and Your Kids

Results-Driven Child Custody Attorney

If you are fighting for custody or visitation of your child(ren) in Rochester, NY or the surrounding area, reach out to Thomas A. Corletta, Attorney & Counselor at Law today. Mr. Corletta will not only personally review and handle your case but will also make sure the court system treats you fairly and that you remain a meaningful and significant force in your child(ren)’s lives.

As one of the leading child custody attorneys in the area, Mr. Corletta has over 40 years of experience handling child custody and visitation cases, which are often tried to the court. He understands how vital it is to keep your child(ren) in your life. He will do everything possible to protect your rights as a parent. Learn more about how he can help you with these specific cases below.

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How We Can Help During a Custody Case

As an experienced child custody lawyer, Thomas A. Corletta knows how to handle the complexities of child custody cases, which often involve testimony from professionals like psychologists, doctors, teachers, social workers, and police officers, in order to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your children. He understands how emotionally draining this process can be.

Unlike other cases, which mostly focus on the parties, child custody cases have far-reaching ramifications affecting the entire family. With a highly experienced child custody lawyer like Mr. Corletta on your side, you can relax and worry about your emotional health rather than the logistics, strategy, and complexities of the case.

He will sit down with you, gather and organize all relevant information, and help you achieve the best possible outcome through settlement or trial. Don’t leave something as important as custody of or access to your child to chance. Contact Thomas A. Corletta today for proven legal expertise that can protect the integrity of your family.

Child Custody in Rochester, NY

Custody FAQ

What are the two aspects of custody?

There are two parts of child custody:
1. Legal custody and 2. Physical custody or possession.

Who can make important decisions about a child’s care, such as medical care or religious upbringing?

Whoever has legal custody; except in emergency situations.

Do I need a child custody lawyer?

Normally, yes. Child Custody issues can be complex and usually require legal assistance. Thomas A. Corletta is a child custody lawyer in Rochester, NY, who can help you negotiate or litigate custody, either by agreement, or in court.

Who is responsible for a child's physical care and supervision?

Whoever is the child’s physical caretaker at the time. This can be either parent or someone else whom the parents use when they are not physically present, such as daycare or another family member.

What is joint legal custody?

A legal concept where the parents must consult on all major issues affecting the child’s care, protection, maintenance, training, and education, such as school, religion, and medical issues.

What is sole custody?

Sole custody gives one parent sole decision-making power on the issues mentioned above.

What should I expect at a child custody/visitation hearing or trial?

A custody or visitation case is heard before a Judge or a Court Attorney-Referee if both parties agree to use the Referee. If both sides agree regarding custody of the child, the judge can enter a custody order “on consent” without a custody hearing, provided the agreement is in the child’s best interest. If the two sides cannot agree on custody, the judge will hold a custody hearing or trial, which is a full evidentiary hearing with witnesses, testimony, and other evidence. It’s important to have an attorney to represent you in any child custody case, particularly a trial where the Rules of Evidence are followed. Contact Thomas A. Corletta, a well-respected child custody attorney in Rochester, NY, for representation.

What is visitation and how does it work?

Visitation or secondary physical residency is used to describe parenting time for the parent that does not have primary physical residency or possession. The court can set an appropriate visitation schedule.

Who can get custody in Rochester, NY?

The mother and legal father each can ask for custody. There is no presumption of favoring one or the other. A legal father is a man who has signed an Extra-Judicial Acknowledgement of Paternity, received an order of Filiation from a Court, or is married to the mother. Same-sex couples can also seek custody. It is no longer necessary in NY to be the child’s biological parent to seek custody under recent court of appeals decisions. In extraordinary circumstances, non-parents can even seek custody.

Can a parent move away with the child?

The parent with physical custody or primary physical residency must obtain permission from the other parent or the Court before moving, unless otherwise specified by Agreement or Court Order. This is called relocation. A specific set of factors govern relocation, which is a specialized type of custody case.

Custody Attorney

Case Review

Mr. Corletta obtains dismissal of article 8 family offense “abuse” petition & restoral of client’s visitation.

False allegations of Sexual Abuse are one of the most egregious things that can occur in litigation. Unfortunately, they are frequently used to gain leverage in Custody/Visitation disputes. Those who make such false allegations know courts often act preliminarily with kneejerk reactions, such as suspension of visitation and Orders of Protection, that often irreparably damage a parent’s relationship with an impressionable child.

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While the allegations are vetted, a parent’s contact with his/her child can be cut off for months without any evidentiary proof. This is an injustice that Mr. Corletta has often railed against in both criminal and domestic cases.

It happened in a recent case Mr. Corletta handled in N.M. v. B.T. (Mon. Co. Fam. Ct., 5/2021).

In that case, Petitioner had filed no less than 5 Custody Petitions in less than four years against Mr. Corletta’s client, attempting to show Mr. Corletta’s client was unfit and restrict or take away the client’s access to the party’s child. Petitioner has not been successful in restricting access to the child.

This time, the Petitioner tried a different tack; false allegations of sexual abuse, purportedly coming from a 4-year-old, were completely uncorroborated by any medical or other evidence.

The problem with Petitioner’s latest approach was that in seeking a “Stay Away” Order of Protection in a Family Court Article 8 proceeding, Petitioner came into contact with Mr. Corletta’s knowledge of the law.

Hearsay, while allowed in Custody proceedings, is not allowed in Article 8 proceedings, where an Order of Protection is sought, due to the implications of an Order of Protection. Therefore, Petitioner’s attempt to use a 4-year-old’s hearsay statements was roundly rebuffed by Mr. Corletta, who made an immediate Motion to Dismiss, citing the fact that the Petition was based entirely on inadmissible hearsay.

Mr. Corletta supported this argument with Decisions from 3 of the 4 New York Appellate Divisions, which have ruled on this issue.

Aside from the hearsay statements of this 4-year-old, who would not be competent to testify in Court anyway, there was no other proof whatsoever, medical or otherwise.

Notwithstanding, Petitioner’s Court-appointed attorney and the Attorney For the Child, despite knowing the facts upon which the Petition was based were without evidentiary basis, continued to advocate for the exclusion of Mr. Corletta’s client from the child, based solely on Petitioner’s unsubstantiated claims.

Mr. Corletta further persisted in his argument, filing a Supplemental Memorandum of Law. The Referee ultimately agreed with Mr. Corletta, dismissing the Petition in its entirety and vacating the Order of Protection, thereby clearing Mr. Corletta’s client to exercise visitation with the young child, whom the client had not seen for six months.

This case illustrates the perniciousness of false allegations of Sexual Abuse, and as held by the Appellate Division in another case Mr. Corletta handled; Marino v. Marino 90 AD3d 1694 (4th Dept., 2011), parents who make false allegations of Sexual Abuse seeking to interfere with the other parent’s relationship with the child(ren) are presumptively unfit to parent.

Child Custody Law in Rochester, NY
Trust leading child custody attorney, Thomas A Corletta. Contact us at 585-546-5072 today!
Thomas A. Corletta, Attorney at Law

Thomas A Corletta Attorney at Law

16 W Main St Suite 204
Rochester NY 14614

Satellite Office
1235 Route 332 Farmington, NY 14425
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