How does New York choose who gets child custody? Child custody is an extraordinarily sensitive aspect of getting a divorce. Ultimately, New York courts want to ensure that custody and visitation arrangements are in the best interests of the child. But how does a judge decide what is and isn't suitable for the child? It's more complicated than you might think. Here's what you should know.
Factors Used by New York Courts to Determine Child Custody & Visitation
In the past, custody was almost exclusively awarded to the mother due to outdated beliefs that they were the most suited to care for them. However, the State of New York now understands that a child must have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents for healthy development. They consider a vast number of elements before making a decision, including but not limited to:
The physical and mental health of each parent. If one parent has physical or mental health issues that prevent them from properly caring for the child, they may not be awarded physical custody. Visitation or supervised visitation may be awarded depending on the severity of the parent's condition.
The income of each parent. Courts will consider the occupation and income of each parent. Physical custody is more likely to be awarded to the parent with higher income and stable work history.
The living situation of each parent.
The age and health of the child. If the child has special needs, judges will typically award physical custody to the parent who is best equipped to meet these needs.
Any history of drug or alcohol abuse. Most importantly, if there is a history of drug or alcohol abuse, the court may require rehabilitation and counseling before awarding custody or visitation. In many cases, if visitation is awarded, it will be supervised.
The wishes of the child. For instance, if the child is old enough to express their desires about with whom they wish to live, the judge will take this into consideration before making a custody decision.
Contact the Bombardo Law Office, P.C. Today for Compassionate Legal Support
Syracuse family lawyer Richard Bombardo understands how challenging family legal matters can be, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. We offer phone consultations as we move towards socially distanced in-person appointments to discuss your divorce and child custody concerns. Our office also offers flexible payment options for qualifying families. Contact us today for your consultation by calling (315) 488-5544 or fill out our short online contact form. We'll get back to you, guaranteed.
Bombardo Law Office, P.C. is located in Syracuse, NY and serves clients in and around Syracuse, Liverpool, Camillus, Warners, Nedrow, Cicero, Clay, Marcellus, East Syracuse, Elbridge and Jamesville.
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