Fighting for Full or Joint Custody of Your Child? Call (212) 588-1002
If you are facing child custody issues during or after a divorce, our New York City custody lawyer can advise clients during negotiations or mediation, and provide representation through litigation. The objective of our family law legal team is to reach a satisfactory outcome through the appropriate legal avenue while emphasizing expediency and effectiveness.
We have broad experience resolving multifaceted custody matters encompassing:
- The relocation of a parent
- International custody disputes
- Grandparent visitation
- Parental alienation
- Cases involving special needs children, and more
Types of Child Custody
In general, there are two types of child custody granted in the state of New York. The first is known as physical custody (also called residential custody). This refers to where the child will reside, and the court may grant joint or sole physical custody. The second is joint custody: where the child will spend an equal amount of time living with each parent.
Other types of custody include: sole custody, where one parent is provides primarily residential care of the child. In such cases, the noncustodial parent may be able to obtain visitation rights. Legal custody refers to the decision-making power of each parent. It can be joint, where both parents agree on important decisions together, or sole, where one parent will have the legal ability to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and care.
Legal custody grants power over decisions involving:
- Religious training
- Medical care
- Extracurricular activities
Determining Custody of a Child
When possible, it is recommended that parents reach mutually agreeable solutions during child custody negotiations. In the event of ongoing disagreement, the court may intervene and decide on the couple’s behalf, utilizing the “child’s best interests” as the guiding principle.
The court evaluates the following factors when determining the best interests of the child:
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s basic needs
- Each parent’s mental and physical health
- Each parent’s work schedules
- The preference of the child, depending on the age
- Whether a parent is inclined to cooperate with the other parent
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse
In order to pursue custody of your child, you must either go through mediation or litigation. Mediation would allow you to work with your spouse to determine a child custody and visitation schedule that specifically suits your needs. However, the final order would still need to be approved by a judge to ensure it meets the child’s best interests.
On the other hand, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, or you want your case to be heard in a formal court setting, you may file a custody petition. You would then present evidence in support of your argument, and the judge would make a binding legal decision regarding child custody. Our New York City child custody attorney can discuss your options and provide knowledgeable assistance.