What You Should Know About Child Custody in New York
Child custody is often the most sensitive matter of a divorce. After all, parents often struggle to agree upon what is best for their children. As a result, custody decisions are generally made by the court. Read on to learn more about the process and how custody is determined in New York.
Types of Custody in New York
In New York, a parent may be awarded:
Physical custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child will spend the most time. This is the child’s main residence. In some cases, the parent with physical custody may be awarded child support. In other cases, parents will work to split the custody equally, resulting in shared physical custody.
Legal custody is a parent’s right to make important decisions in the life of the child. These decisions may include education, religion, and medical issues, among other things. Legal custody is not dependent on physical custody and can be awarded to one or both parents.
New York State believes a child benefits from having some form of relationship with both parents. In rare cases, if a parent has been deemed unfit, the fit parent will be awarded sole custody. If this occurs the unfit parent will likely have some form of visitation rights.
How is Custody Determined?
New York courts take custody matters very seriously. When a judge is making a decision about custody, he or she may consider the following factors:
- The parent’s willingness to accept custody
- Any history of domestic violence and drug/alcohol abuse
- The safety of the child
- The preference of the child, if of sufficient age
- The relationship of the child with his/her parents and siblings
- The child’s needs
- The stability of the home environment
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
- The parents’ employment responsibilities and lifestyles
If you have any questions or concerns about child custody in New York, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to speak with an experienced family law attorney.
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The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., rated Nassau County’s “BEST” divorce lawyers and proudly serving clients in Nassau and Suffolk County for more than 22 years, is always available to assist and represent parties in divorce, separation and all other matrimonial and family law matters. Contact us online or call today to schedule your complimentary case analysis: (516) 938-3330.