Four Frequently-Asked Questions about Child Custody Decisions in New York

By The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC on February 25, 2015

Deciding how, when, and by whom your children will be raised when you and your spouse divorce is one of the most emotionally difficult parts of any divorce. Understanding how New York courts deal with custody decisions can help you work with your experienced New York child custody attorney to ensure that your child’s needs are met in a way that supports your future as well.

  1. How do New York courts make child custody decisions?

Custody decisions are made according to the “best interests of the child.” Since every child and every family is different, courts consider several factors when determining what the child’s “best interests” are. These include:

  • The child’s age, sex, and development;
  • The child’s preference, if the child is old enough to have one;
  • How “attached” the child is to each parent; and
  • How much each parent knows about the child’s needs and upbringing.
  1. What is the difference between “sole” and “joint” custody?

Sole custody is custody granted to just one parent. When both parents share custody, the arrangement is called “joint” or “shared” custody.

  1. What is the difference between physical and legal custody?

“Custody” of children is usually broken down into two further categories: physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with. Legal custody refers to the power to make important decisions for the child, like where the child will go to school or what medical care he or she will receive. Both physical and legal custody may be sole or shared.

  1. What is visitation?

Visitation allows a parent who does not have physical custody to spend scheduled time with his or her children. Just like custody arrangement, visitation arrangements are created with the best interests of the child in mind.

To discuss your particular concerns regarding child custody, please talk to an experienced New York divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC.

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