Custody Mistakes to Avoid in New York | What to Know

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Parents often struggle to make decisions when it comes to child custody arrangements. As a result, custody is often left in the hands of a judge. When it comes to a custody hearing, certain behaviors can impact the arrangement. Read on to learn more about some of the biggest custody mistakes to avoid.

How is Custody Determined?

When making a decision about custody, a judge is working to do what is in the child’s best interests. He or she may examine 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

Mistakes to avoid

There are some important mistakes to avoid during a custody hearing:

  • Badmouthing your co-parent
    • It can be tempting to rant about a frustrating custody situation, but it is important that you refrain. This is because it can be harmful to your child and it can be seen as a refusal to co-parent.
  • Ignoring court orders
    • Ignoring court-ordered pick-up and drop-off times can not only look bad but can result in legal trouble.
  • Posting on social media
    • Your social media accounts may be used against you in court. As a result, posting about your custody matters or speaking poorly of your child’s other parent online can be harmful to your case. Additionally, it is important to refrain from posting anything inappropriate or incriminating.

Why do Parents Lose Custody?

It is not often that parents lose custody. This is because, for the most part, New York courts believe that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents. But, a parent may lose custody as a result of:

  • Abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Neglect
  • Refusal to co-parent
  • Failure to follow court orders

If you have any questions or concerns about child custody arrangements in New York, contact our firm today.


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.

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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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