When it comes to divorce, you will have to settle a number of matters. Some of these matters may include child support, alimony, the division of assets, and more. However, many people find themselves most concerned with custody arrangements. Having to share custody of your child can be a stressful and difficult situation. In New York, judges generally agree that children benefit greatly from having a relationship with both parents. As a result, they will work to award custody to both parents. Read on to learn more about how custody is determined in New York.
How is custody determined in New York?
When making a custody decision, a judge will typically consider:
- 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
What to avoid during a custody battle:
When a judge makes a decision about custody, he or she is working to do what is in the child’s best interest. The following behaviors can impact your custody decision:
- Engaging in criminal behavior, especially in the presence of children
- Using illegal drugs, especially in the presence of children
- Abusing your child or significant other
- Having an unsafe living environment
- Withholding the child from his or her other legal parent, siblings or extended family
- Disrupting or discontinuing the child’s education or community life
- Neglecting the child’s daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs
- Creating conflict, and/or inability to cooperate with the other parent
If a parent is deemed unfit, he or she will lose custody. In this case, the fit parent will be awarded sole custody. In most cases, the parent who has lost custody will be awarded some form of visitation, either supervised or unsupervised, depending on the situation. Additionally, losing custody does not have to be permanent.
If you have questions about custody, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to discuss your case.
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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.