If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about child custody, the different types, how it is awarded, and so on. Read on for a general overview of the child custody process in New York.

What Types of Custody Are There in New York?

There are two different types of custody in the state of New York: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody refers to a parent’s legal right to make important decisions in a child’s life. These decisions may regard matters of religion, medical treatments, education, and so on. You can also be awarded physical custody. Physical custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child resides for the majority of the time. In some cases, parents share physical custody equally. It is important to note that physical and legal custody are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible to be awarded one and not the other.

Why Would a Parent not be Awarded Custody?

In some cases, a parent will be deemed unfit, and the fit parent will be awarded sole custody. Some cases that may deem a parent unfit include:

  • The parents cannot effectively communicate regarding the children
  • The parents’ inability to co-parent together
  • A lack of involvement of one parent in their child’s life
  • An unwillingness of one parent to place the child’s needs before their own
  • An unwillingness of one parent to make compromises about decisions regarding the child

How Does a Judge Determine Custody?

New York courts take custody matters very seriously. In order to determine custody, a judge may examine the following: 

  • The parents’ ability to communicate, cooperate and agree regarding matters of the child
  • The parents’ 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 regarding child custody in New York, contact our firm today.

Contact our Firm

The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC understands the harsh implications of relocation can have on a child and his or her parents. When you have a contested relocation matter, it is important to have an experienced attorney to represent you in court. If you are faced with a relocation matter in Rockland County, contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC today to schedule a consultation.