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How is child custody determined in New York?

As a parent who is divorcing, you may have concerns over the custody of your child. At the law firm of Cobert, Haber & Haber Attorneys at Law, we know that child custody is often one of the most contested aspects of many divorce cases. In order to help you understand what to expect, this post will discuss how child custody is determined in the state of New York.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you and your child’s parent may choose to share legal and physical custody of your child after you divorce. In other cases, however, you may seek to obtain sole custody. If you and your former partner are unable to reach a decision on your own, then the decision will fall to the courts.

New York courts make decisions relating to child custody based on who is best suited to care for your child and what will best serve him or her. In order to determine what is in the child’s best interests, the court considers numerous factors. According to the New York State Unified Court System, these include the following:

  •          Each of your parenting skills
  •          The relationship your child has with his or her siblings and other family members
  •          Your ability to cooperate with your child’s other parent
  •          Your willingness to encourage a relationship between your child and his or her other parent
  •          The physical and mental health of each of you
  •          Your ability to provide for any special needs your child may have

Additionally, the court will take into account which of you has been your child’s primary caregiver or nurturer up until your divorce. Depending on your child’s age, the court may also consider his or her wishes.

For more information about protecting your parental rights and your child’s best interests, please visit our Child Custody page.

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