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What should I know about child custody determination in New York?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Child Custody

In New York family law, many issues will be in dispute. Among the most complicated is child custody. People who are embroiled in a divorce are frequently worried about how custody will be determined, how much time they will have with the child and if fathers will have a fair chance at being granted custody. From the outset, it is important to understand the fundamentals. This is the basis for any case and will have a direct impact on the outcome regardless of the subsequent claims, desires and circumstances.

Factors the court will consider for child custody

The courts will take the parents’ requests into consideration, but the primary aspect of its decision will center on the child – specifically, the child’s best interests. In many families, there will be a parent who performs most of the caretaking duties. This will be a consideration for the court. As they end the marriage and live separately, the parents will each have a home. The court will want to know the environment and which is better for the child. Parental fitness is key. That includes the parents’ judgment, employment records and overall health. If a parent has personal issues like drugs or alcohol or cannot maintain a steady job, this could hinder an attempt to gain custody.

As the case is assessed, the child will be living with one parent or the other. The current living situation and how long it has been in place is a factor. Children need more than just tangible things. They need to have intellectual and emotional support. The parent that provides that has a better chance of being given custody. It is also important that both parents are involved and the custodial parent is willing to encourage a relationship with the other parent. The child might be old enough and of sufficient maturity to state where he or she wants to live. This too will be considered. Finally, if there are allegations of abuse, this will obviously be a mitigating factor.

The child should take precedence and parents inevitably need guidance

In a best-case scenario, parents who are getting divorced will keep the child’s interests at the forefront as child custody is decided. However, emotions may run high and disagreements can escalate. Knowing the basics of a child custody case and what the court will analyze is imperative. To be fully prepared to present a case to be given custody or get the maximum visitation possible, it is useful to have professional assistance to present the case and seek a positive result.