Any New York parent can attest that parenthood comes with important and difficult decisions. This is especially evident during a divorce. While no parent seeks to spend less time with their child, the reality is that it is challenging to split time in a way that benefits both parents.
Additionally, some factors could significantly alter parenting time, causing one parent to have primary or sole custody. Thus, it is important to not only understand your situation but also the various child custody arrangements that could result.
Basics of New York child custody
In the state of New York, child custody is broken down into two categories. This includes legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions concerning the child. With regard to physical custody, this refers to where the child lives.
In some cases, both parents will have joint legal and physical custody. In contrast, one parent could have sole legal custody and primary custody.
Various factors are used to determine custody. Often, when the matter is litigated, a judge will consider the parenting skills of each parent, the mental and physical health of the parents, whether domestic violence is involved, the work schedules of each parent, the childcare plans of each parent, the child’s relationship with other members of the family, what the child wants if their age warrants it and the ability of the parents to cooperate.
Modification of the child custody order
Whether a child custody agreement was established through mediation or litigation, it is likely that the terms of the custody order will no longer satisfy the needs of the child as they get older. Thus, modification might be necessary. When parents agree to a modification, this modification is filed with the court. Even if one parent believes modification is needed, a petition to modify can still be filed.
Divorce is already a challenging, overwhelming and emotional time; thus, when child custody issues arise, it can make the matter more difficult to navigate. No matter how complex your situation is, you will get through it; however, you do not need to do it alone. Legal guidance not only provides you with your legal options to reach a final agreement but also ensures your parental rights are protected.