Child Custody in New York : How New York Courts Decides Custody ? 

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Child Custody in New York : How New York Courts Decides Custody ? 

New York child Custody laws are geared towards protecting the best interests of the child.

Some sources advise that there are only a few guidelines or no guidelines, for awarding child custody, this is not accurate.

New York case law gives numerous guidelines and has defined best interests quite hugely.

Knowing what is the child’s best interests can help you to decide whether to settle your case or go to trial.

Child Custody Laws in New York

New York child custody laws used to believe that the mother should have custody and is a better choice as a protective parent.

Many years ago these laws changed.  In New York, Neither parent has a better chance of getting custody which means that a father can also get custody. d On a case-by-case basis the child custody cases are decided.

When the parents have not been married but have had a child together or when there has been a New York divorce, Custody can be decided. 

At the time of deciding where the child should live, whether or not there was a marriage is not an important factor.

Types of Child Custody in New York

In New York there are different types of child custody. These are :

1. Joint Custody :

In joint custody both parents share custody based on a schedule that is decided by them or by the court. 

Joint custody in New York is common.

2. Sole Custody :

In this custody only one parent has custody of the child.

3. Legal custody :

Here parents, which can be one or both of them, make the important decisions about the child, such as education, medical and religious issues.

Generally, one parent have the final decision, either by agreement or where the court has given one parent the final decision-making authority.

4. Physical Custody :

The parent with whom the child resides is called physical custody.

Generally, the non-custodial parent will have a visitation schedule with the child.

New York Custody Laws and Best Interests

According to New York law, the most important factor in considering which parent gets physical custody is the child’s best interests.

The most important factor for the court  is the child’s best interests when deciding whether a situation warrants granting sole custody.

Custody laws in New York provide that there are specific factors of the child.

After many cases added new custody factors for a court to consider, these custody laws came into existence.

A court will consider The following factors will be considered by the court and how they relate to the child’s best interests. 

Best interests can include the following :

  • With either parent, how long has the child been residing ? 
  • Where the child has been primarily residing ?
  • Are there any special needs of the child that one parent can easily handle ?
  • Whether in the family, domestic violence is an issue.

In most instances courts like to keep siblings together, so check whether there are any siblings.

  • Whether one parent is better able to handle the intellectual and emotional development of the child.
  • Whether one parent will facilitate a good relationship with the other parent.
  • Whether parental separation, where one parent is turning the child against the other parent is involved.
  • If there is a preference about where to live for an older child, then  something a court may take into consideration.will not be determinative of custody but is 
  • Whether one parent has better parenting skills.
  • Whether either parent has any issue with alcohol or drugs.
  • Which parent can better provide food,shelter, medical attention, and education for the child.
  • The home environment of each parent
  • Between the child and the parent, whether there is a custody order If there exists a strong bond already in place or an informal agreement as to custody.
  • The parent’s work schedules 
  • Whether a parent will be able to promote the child’s religious upbringing and religious beliefs.
  • The non availability of a domestic partner in each parent’s household.
  • The physical and mental health and stability of each parent.

Pursuing Child Custody in New York

There is no specific/magic age where a child’s preferences are considered.

However, a court will consider the wishes of 12-years-old child more than the wishes of an 8-year-old child.

Likewise, a court will take into account all of the above factors in addition to any other factors and whether these factors, as a whole, tip the scale in favor of one parent.

Usually, one factor is not determinative of the child’s best interests per child custody in New York.

If, however, the child has been living with one parent for a long time and is developing,a court will be afraid to disturb the status quo.

When considering the child custody laws in New York, review the factors listed above. You may want to consider settling your case rather than litigating it in court, if many of them point toward the other parent.

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