When it comes to family law, matters are generally under a state’s jurisdiction. This includes child custody laws in New York. New York complies with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act — this fosters legal cooperation in regards to custody cases that cover multiple states — and also allows joint custody and visitation rights to grandparents.
There are two kinds of child custody, and each has two forms. The first, legal custody, pertains to when a parent is responsible for making important decisions in the life of a child — these include the child’s religion and education, as well as medical care. It is relatively common for both parents to share this form of custody.
The other type, physical custody, determines with which parent a child resides. Although this form of custody used to be more popularly given to only one parent, it is more common today for one of the parents to take care of the child during the week, while the other parent has the child on the weekend. Sole custody refers to when only one parent has one of the above types of custody, while, when the parents share in child custody, it is known as joint custody.
New York is one of only a few states that allows a child’s grandparents — as well as other non-parents, including siblings — to petition the court for visitation rights. This process is similar to the process through which a parent goes. This is accomplished by the individual presenting his or her case to the court and arguing that it will be in the child’s best interests for the child to be in his or her life. When New York residents in the midst of divorce or separations have questions about child custody laws or would simply like to know more about the laws, they typically choose to consult with experienced family law attorneys.
Source: FindLaw, “New York Child Custody Laws“, Accessed on May 19, 2016