The primary goal of New York child custody laws is to protect your child’s best interests, and Domestics Relations Law 70 states that this standard applies to all cases. While what determines better interests may sound subjective, numerous examples in case law clearly lay out what those standards are.
Whether your child custody issue stems from a New York divorce proceeding or you were never married, custody is determined by the courts.
Who Can Pursue Child Custody in New York?
In New York, both parents have an equal chance of receiving custody of their child, and these matters are strictly on a case-by-case basis when it comes to a court making its decision. The only goal is that the best interests of any children from the relationship are the main priority.
The type of custody a parent receives depends on the circumstances of the case and could possibly be modified over time to continue meeting the needs of the child.
- Sole custody
- Joint custody
- Legal custody
- Physical custody
- Temporary custody
New York Custody Laws and Best Interests
As mentioned earlier, New York law makes it clear that the best interests of your child are the primary factor that influences a custody determination. This is also true when a court must decide on awarding sole custody in more serious custody situations. But what constitutes the best interest of your child? State custody laws list these factors but speaking with a family law attorney about your custody situation may provide a better answer.
Some of these factors include:
- Who provides primary care of the child
- Condition of the home environment
- Parenting skills
- Overall health of each parent
- Availability of the parents to the child
- Current sibling situation and relationship the child has with them
- The ability of the parents to provide for their children
- Relationship of other family members with the child
- Works schedules and impact on the child
- Willingness of the parents to cooperate in parenting the child
- Preferred custodial parent according to the child if old enough
Unfortunately, some families face serious custody issues that involve complex circumstances involving the safety of their children. Such scenarios require an experienced family law attorney to guide you through a complicated custody case. These cases typically involve factors such as:
- Domestic violence
- Special needs requirements
- One parent is serving in the military
- Allegations of child abuse or neglect
- Living and/or economic situations (homelessness)
- One or both parents desiring to relocate or move out of state
New York courts must consider all the factors mentioned as a whole to determine which parent would provide the best custody situation for the child. One factor is rarely enough, though children who have resided with one parent for an extended time and are thriving may sway the decision.
Speak with a New York Family Law Attorney About Your Custody Issue
If you are considering divorce or in the middle of a child custody disagreement, you must work with a reputable New York family law attorney. If a court decides your custody arrangements, the ramifications of its decision could affect the relationship with your child for a lifetime. Attorney Katherine Ryan understands the importance of a parent being present in the life of their children and works hard to help her clients reach a custody agreement that benefits them while supporting a parent-child relationship.
The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C., has represented thousands of families facing difficult family law issues involving child custody. Katherine understands that sometimes it is not possible to reach an agreement and helps position you to make the best argument to the court for custody of your child. We provide our custody services to clients in Garden City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Long Island. Contact The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C. today for a comprehensive evaluation of your family law issue.