How Is Child Custody Determined in New York?

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Making a Decision That Is in The Best Interests of The Child

You’ve filed for divorce, and now you’re wondering, “How is child custody determined in New York?” The quick answer is that the court does its best to accommodate the child’s best interests. Courts want to choose the most stable environment for children. 

How Is Child Custody Determined in New York: The Factors the Court Considers 

Several factors play a role in determining child custody in New York. Some of them are: 

  •       Characteristics of the child: age, sex, mental health, physical health, and wellbeing
  •       Parental lifestyle as well as mental and physical health of each parent
  •       The parent/child relationship and emotional bond
  •       Parental ability to care for the child by providing food, shelter, clothing, and medical care
  •       Child’s routine and school
  •       The child’s own preference if they are above a certain age (usually around age 12)
  •       The willingness and ability of the parent to maintain and encourage communication on parenting issues for both parents

How Are Child Custody Laws Divided in New York? 

In New York, child custody is divided into two parts: legal and physical custody. The child’s best interests are the criteria used to determine who gets legal custody and who gets physical custody. 

  •       Legal custody: The parent can make important decisions, such as medical or religious choices, on behalf of the child.
  •       Physical custody: This determines where the child physically lives. The parent with physical custody is responsible for physical care and supervision. If joint physical custody is awarded, the child will reside in each parent’s home for an equal amount of time. If sole physical custody is awarded, the child will live with that parent more than 50% of the time, and the noncustodial parent will be awarded set visitation times with the child. 

What Are the Different Types of Child Custody in New York? 

The two general types of child custody in New York are legal and physical. Within those types, custody is further broken into joint or sole custody. Additionally, in New York, there is shared custody and split custody. In shared custody, parents split time with the children 50/50. In split custody, at least one child is with one parent, and another child is with the other parent. 

What Is the Difference Between a Custodial and Noncustodial Parent? 

The custodial parent has primary physical custody of the child. They live in the same home with the child for the majority of the time and have the most responsibility for caring for the child, even if the other parent is actively involved in the child’s life. A noncustodial parent doesn’t have physical custody of their child but may have legal decision-making authority and visitation rights. 

When Should You Seek Legal Advice Regarding Child Custody? 

Anytime you have a legal question regarding child custody, you should reach out to Brian D. Perskin & Associates at 1-800-DIVORCE.

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