Child Custody in New York

Hiring the right attorney for a New York custody matter is a critical decision. As a parent, it is a top priority that your children’s best interests are protected and are placed at the forefront of discussions during divorce or separation. This becomes much more difficult when you and the other parent do not see eye to eye regarding parenting decisions.

How is Child Custody & Parenting Time Determined in New York?

The determination of custody is guided by the “best interests of the child.” In determining the best interests of the child, Courts are required to consider various factors, which have been developed by New York case law. These factors include, but are not limited to, each parent’s home environment, each parent’s past performance, each parent’s relative fitness, substance abuse, each parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment, each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s emotional intellectual development, each parent’s willingness to foster the child’s relationship with the other parent, and the children’s wishes. Each judge places different weight on these factors depending on the circumstances presented to him or her. In New York, the only statutory factor required to be considered, when raised, is domestic violence.

What is Legal Custody in New York?

Joint legal custody in New York means that the parents must consult and agree upon all major decisions relating to the health, education, religious, and overall well-being of the child.

Modified joint legal custody in New York means that the parents must consult and attempt to agree upon all major decisions relating to the health, education, religious, and overall well-being of the child. In the event of a disagreement, one parent shall have final decision-making authority.

Sole legal custody in New York means one parent is vested with the authority to make all major decisions relating to the health, education, religious, and overall well-being of the child without consulting the other parent.

What is Physical Custody and Parenting Time in New York?

Physical custody in New York is the actual physical care and supervision of the children on a daily basis (i.e. where the children reside each day).

Primary physical custody in New York means one parent has custody of the children more than half of the time. In this case, the other parent has “parenting time.”

Shared physical custody in New York means each parent has equal (or close to equal) parenting time with the children.

Can I Modify a New York Custody Order in the Future?

A parent can file a Petition to modify an order of custody if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the final Order. If the Court finds that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the Courts in New York will then determine whether modifying the Order is in the children’s best interest.

What if the Other Parent is Not Following the Custody Order?

If you have an Order of Custody and the other parent is routinely violating the terms of the Order, you can likely file a Violation Petition to hold the other parent accountable and to obtain compliance with the Order.

How Can Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC Help?

At Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC, we always put our clients’ goals first, whether this means working day and night to put together a comprehensive settlement proposal to resolve your matter quickly and efficiently, or by filing petitions, motions, and ultimately taking your case to Trial. Our Team spends time with each of our clients, taking particular care to learn the details of the case inside and out, with the understanding that you are an integral member of our legal team. We understand that custodial issues arise in the evenings and on the weekends and we try our best to respond and provide you with the legal advice that you need as the issue is occurring, not days or weeks later.

Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC practices primarily in the following counties:

  • Albany County
  • Columbia County
  • Fulton County
  • Greene County
  • Montgomery County
  • Rensselaer County
  • Saratoga County
  • Schenectady County
  • Schoharie County

If you have questions about custody and/or parenting time, need assistance with establishing, modifying, or enforcing a Child Custody Order, or would like to set up a consultation appointment, please contact office@theCDSLawFirm.com or (518) 436-4170.

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