NY Joint Custody Lawyer

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There are two types of custody in the State of New York. Physical custody refers to the parent who has physical possession of the child. They’re expected to provide the child with direct care. Legal custody refers to which parent has the right to make significant decisions on behalf of the child.

Physical custody

This type of custody determines where the child spends most of their time. A parent has primary physical custody when they have the bulk of the time with the child. A parent has joint physical custody when they share parenting time with the other parent equally or almost equally. Even if one parent has primary physical custody, the other parent usually has some parenting time.

Legal custody

When a parent has legal custody, they have the authority to make big decisions for the child. They decide where the child goes to school. They decide if the child should receive certain medical treatment.

When a child is in a parent’s direct care, it’s up to that parent to make the day to day decisions for a child. This includes what a child should eat, what they wear and routine discipline. Bigger decisions about a child’s upbringing are left to the parent with legal custody. If the parents have joint legal custody, they need to agree on these decisions.

No presumption of joint custody

The State of New York has no presumption of joint custody. That is, judges who decide custody cases don’t have to first consider placing the child with both parents equally. That means, if you’re hoping for joint custody, it’s important to work with a NY joint custody lawyer in order to prove your case. The court needs to see the evidence and hear arguments about why joint custody is best for your child.

How does the court decide?

When the court makes a decision about custody, they decide if the parents are going to be able to get along enough to make joint custody work. They also consider if the parents live close enough to each other in order to split the time effectively while a child goes to school or participates in other community activities. The court considers if there are any big reasons that one parent should have the majority of the parenting time such as domestic violence or a history of substance abuse.

Custody agreements

For the most part, the courts honor joint custody schedules if the parents are able to agree. The court can disagree if they feel it’s not in the child’s best interests, but this is rare. This means that you can work with your NY joint custody lawyer in order to approach the other parent about creating a joint custody agreement. Although this might seem impossible, your NY joint custody attorneys are trained professionals. We have the skill and experience to help you both prepare your case for court and approach the other side for a non-trial resolution.

Work with us

We know that it’s important for a child to have a strong relationship with both of their parents. That’s why we take pride in helping good parents fight for joint custody. Every case is unique, but it’s important to us to help you advocate for your child’s best interests to the fullest extent of New York law. Contact us today, and we can begin working on your case.