If you are a parent and you are getting divorced, you likely have a lot of questions about child custody. Read on to learn more about how custody is determined in New York.
What are the Different Types of Custody Awarded in New York?
The two main types of custody in New York are physical and legal custody.
- Physical custody: This type of custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child spends more nights of the week. This parent is also known as the custodial parent. The child may travel back and forth between both parents, but the custodial parent is mainly responsible for providing a stable home, education, food, clothes, and more.
- Legal custody: This refers to a parent’s right to make important decisions regarding the child. These decisions may include choices regarding academics, religion, medical treatments, relocation, and more. It is important to note that even if a parent does not have physical custody, he or she can still have legal custody. Legal custody can be awarded to one or both parents.
In some cases, a parent will be deemed unfit. This may be due to substance abuse issues, a refusal to co-parent, domestic violence, etc. If a parent is deemed unfit by the court, the fit parent will likely be awarded sole custody. It is important to know that New Jersey judges believe that a child benefits greatly from having a relationship with both parents. As a result, the unfit parent will generally be awarded some form of visitation.
How is Custody Determined?
When making a decision about child custody, a New York judge will carefully examine some of the following factors:
- The parents’ ability to communicate, cooperate and agree regarding matters of the child
- The parent’s willingness to accept custody and any unwillingness to allow parenting time
- The relationship of the child with their parents and siblings
- Any history of domestic violence
- The safety of the child and the safety of one parent from another
- The preference of the child when of sufficient age
- The child’s needs
- The stability of the home environment
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education
- The fitness of both parents
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
- The parents’ employment responsibilities
If you have any questions or concerns about child custody in New York, contact our firm today. We are here to advocate for you and your family.
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Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.