Child Custody

Understanding New York City Child Custody

child-custodyNew York City Child custody is a term that describes the legal relationship between a parent and child. There are different types of custody. In New York City, “physical custody” is about where the child lives. “Legal custody” decides which parent has the right to make important decisions in the child’s life.

New York City courts define joint child custody means that both parents share responsibility for making decisions about the child. The court does not have to give joint child custody. It can give custody to only one parent. The New York City court usually will give custody to only one parent if it looks like the parents are not able to cooperate and work together.

If parents have joint legal child custody in New York, they have to talk about and agree on important decisions such as the child’s medical care, education, or religion. Both parents have access to the child’s medical and school records.

We work hard to obtain whatever custody arrangement and visitation schedule you want.

How does the New York City Courts Determine Child Custody?

The New York City court must make its custody decision in the “best interests of the child.” The court does not automatically assume that the mother is the better parent.

The New York City court looks at who the “primary caretaker” of the child is. The primary caretaker is the parent who spends the most time with the child, and is the parent the child first turns to if they need something. For example, the parent who feeds the child, takes them to school, changes diapers, gets them dressed, and does other similar chores is probably the primary caretaker.

The court examines the parents’ lives and the homes they would provide for the child. For example, the court can consider how well the child gets along with the other people in the parent’s home, whether the parent drinks or uses drugs, whether the child would be separated from siblings, and the amount of time the parent could spend with the child. If domestic violence is listed in the custody petition the court will consider it as well.

In most child custody and visitation cases, the court will appoint an “Attorney for the Child.” This lawyer will interview the child, and can also speak with the parents, if their attorneys agree. This “Attorney for the Child” will argue for what is best for the child, even if the parents do not agree. The court can consider where the child wants to live, but does not have to obey it. The older a child is, the more a court will consider his or her wishes.

Our Unique Approach to Child Custody

Our goal is to handle each divorce with the utmost discretion and professionalism. Our firm presents a unique team approach to divorce actions. We will provide you with a team of knowledgeable lawyers available provide you with advice and insight. On each of our cases, attorneys are always available for consultation and assistance. Each of our clients are provided with our personal cell phone numbers and we are available 24/7 to help you with all your needs. Contact Daniel Szalkiewicz & Associates, P.C. for personalized attention to your child custody matter.