Can I Get 50/50 Custody in New York?

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If you plan on co-parenting while living separately from your child’s other parent, you must decide how to share child custody. Many parents will turn to the court as they cannot get an amicable agreement independently. However, leaving this decision to the court can impact your parenting time. As such, it’s essential to understand the different custody arrangements that exist in New York. Please continue reading to learn whether New York follows a 50/50 custody model and how an experienced Suffolk County Child Custody Attorney can help protect your rights. 

What is 50/50 Custody?

50/50 custody, also known as joint physical or equal shared custody, is a child custody arrangement in which each parent is afforded an equal amount of time with their children. Essentially, this means that the children spend equal time residing with and being cared for by both parents. New York does not have specific legal statutes for 50/50 custody. They don’t automatically apply a 50-50 custody rule. Therefore, parents must prove to the court that equal parenting time would be in the child’s best interests. The court often favors 50/50 custody agreements because the general assumption is that it’s in a child’s best interest following a separation or divorce to maintain an ongoing relationship with both parents. Additionally, the court recognizes that a child should not be deprived of the opportunity to maintain a relationship with a fit parent.

The court will weigh various relevant factors to determine an appropriate custody arrangement given the unique circumstances of a case. The court will always act in a child’s best interest to ensure their well-being. Some of the factors that the court will consider when determining custody include the following:

  • The number and age of children
  • The fitness of each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child
  • The stability of each parent’s home environment
  • The proximity of the parent’s homes
  • The child’s educational needs
  • The preference of the child when of sufficient age
  • Any history of domestic violence, abuse, or substance abuse within the family
  • The ability of the parents to act in the child’s best interests

How Can Parents Reach a Joint Custody Agreement?

While no specific legal statutes exist for 50/50 custody in New York, this custody arrangement offers several benefits. With 50/50 custody, both parents have equal parenting time and involvement in their child’s life, allowing the child to maintain a stable and strong relationship with both parents. Parents struggling to develop a child custody agreement should consider mediation instead of asking a court to decide on the issue for them. Mediation is a cost-effective option for parents to meet with a natural third-party mediator. The mediator will help facilitate communications and reach an amicable agreement. However, for successful mediation, both parties must be willing to cooperate and compromise to ensure their child’s best interests.

If you’re facing an issue about child custody, please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to help you effectively and efficiently resolve your child custody case.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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