The first step in assessing child custody is beginning to understand the options available. There are several different kinds of child custody arrangements for New York residents. One option is joint legal custody, in which both parents are able to make decisions that affect their child’s welfare and upbringing. Conversely, sole custody may be pursued when one parent is deemed either incapable or unfit for parental duties.

Many parents who are going through divorce often wonder who will get custody of their children. Fortunately, if the parents are able to reach an agreement out of court concerning child custody, the family court judge will likely honor their decision. When parents make their own decisions, they may agree on an arrangement of true joint custody in which the children equally divide the time they spend living with each parent, or they may decide that the children should primarily live with one parent, provided a schedule for generous visitation rights is set.

However, sometimes parents cannot decide on a child custody arrangement on their own. If this is the case, then custody will be decided in a family court by a judge. Determining which parent gets custody in this situation is not as easily predicted. Still, most courts follow certain guidelines to ensure that common considerations are taken into account.

There are many factors that must be considered when creating a child custody arrangement. Although most parents have the best interests of their children at heart when making these decisions, sometimes the decisions are not easily made or the parents cannot come to an agreement on the particulars. When this is the case, New York residents often consult experienced divorce attorneys to ensure their parental rights are protected.

Source: findlaw.com, “Custody Considerations: Step-By-Step“, Accessed on Nov. 8, 2015