There are 2 types of child custody in New York: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the decision-making power of each parent, and can be joint (both parents make decisions together) or sole (one parent makes the decisions). Physical custody refers to where the child will reside, and it can also be joint (both parents spend an equal amount of time with the child) or sole (one parent has primary care of the child). When determine a child custody arrangement, the court will not favor one parent over another. While several factors are considered, the main factor used to determine child custody is the best interests of the child.
How Are the Child’s Best Interests Determined?
The court will consider various factors when determining the best interests of the child, including:
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent
- The age, sex, and health of the child
- The child’s relationship with siblings and members of the rest of the family
- Each parent's ability to nurture and care for the child
- The child care plans and work schedules of both parents
- Each parent’s willingness to encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
The child’s wishes will also be considered if he or she is mature enough. The court will make a decision based on the child’s emotional, physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Even if one parent has a history of domestic violence, this does not necessarily mean he or she is automatically excluded from obtaining custody. The court may still grant custody if it is determined that the child will not be in danger and that it is in the child’s best interests. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side who can gather evidence and guide you through the legal process.
If You Are Seeking Custody of Your Child, Goldweber Epstein LLP Is Here to Help.
At Goldweber Epstein LLP, we have years of experience representing parents in custody cases. With a detailed knowledge of federal and state laws, our New York City family lawyers can build your case and help you make informed decisions. We understand the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with your kids after a divorce, and our team will work diligently as you seek custody of your son or daughter.
Contact us today to get started with an initial consultation.