Custody is complex and parents often disagree when it comes to what is best for their children. Additionally, children may also have strong preferences when it comes to what is best for themselves. As a result, a child may want to have a say in a custody agreement. Read on to learn more about what happens when a child has a preference in a custody case in New York.
How is custody determined by a New York judge?
When making a decision about custody, a New York judge will 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 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
Does a judge have to take a child’s preference into account?
In New York, a judge does not legally have to consider a child’s preference when it comes to making a custody decision. However, a judge may consider the child’s preference if the child is of sufficient age. There is no specific age that qualifies as sufficient in New York. The most important thing to do is work with an experienced family law attorney.
Physical vs Legal custody:
The two main types of custody awarded in New York include:
- Physical custody: This type of custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child spends more nights of the week. This parent is typically responsible for providing the child with basic necessities including food, a stable home, clothing, education, and more.
- Legal custody: This refers to a parent’s right to make important decisions in the child’s life. 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. 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 a skilled family law attorney.
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