NY law is clear on this...they do view the issues a "child rights"...but it is in terms of "what is best for the child" in the eyes of the family court
The court will decide custody issues based on one thing...one thing only. "What is best for the child". NOT what is best for mom, or dad, or really anyone/thing else. The court is concerned about the child.
Now, in most cases, the court will find its best if BOTH parents are in the child life...in fact the court presume this. But the court will listen to evidence to determine how to divvy up custody. SO if there is evidence that the child is better off with one parent or another, they will consider this.
As a toddler, the court will not listen to the child...they are too young. When they reach teenage years, the court will begin to take input from them on their needs/desires. But prior to that, the court will decide this on its own, based on evidence presented from the parents.
So, in your case, if the mom is not allowing access to the child, or communications with the child, then your recourse is to file a motion with the court. The court has the power to order mom to allow you access to the child, including communication. THe court will base the order on what is best for the child (again, in the eyes of the court)
BotXXXXX XXXXXne: if you believe that the mom is not doing what is best for the child, you can file a motion with the court and have your lawyer present evidence to the court and ask the court to order more access to the child
Let me know if you have more questions....happy to assist if I can