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If you are involved in a divorce, paternity, or post-divorce case in which custody is an issue, you must understand your essential rights. You must also understand the basic parameters of New York Custody Law. Finally, you must be in a position to fully protect your legal rights and interests in a custody proceeding.
Retaining Appropriate Legal Representation
The stark reality is that New York custody law, and associated court processes, are highly complicated. You best protect your legal interests by retaining the professional services if a skilled, experienced NY custody lawyer.
The first step to take in retaining legal representation is scheduling an initial appointment with an NY custody lawyer. During an initial consultation, legal counsel will provide you with an evaluation of your case. In addition, an attorney will discuss the essentials of custody law in the state of New York. A lawyer will also provide detailed answers to your questions. As a matter of practice, an NY custody lawyer usually charges no fee for an initial appointment with a prospective client.
New York Custody Law
New York statutes establish what technically is known as the legal standard for establishing or changing custody in a divorce, paternity, or post-divorce matter. The state utilizes what is known as the best interests of the child standard in determining custody of a minor child.
The standard mandates that decisions regarding custody of a child are to made with a focus on what is in the best interests of the child. In determining what is in the best interests of a child, the court considers a number of factors.
These factors include an examination of the overall emotional, mental, and physical health of the parties. The factors include a consideration of which parent traditionally has provided primary care for a minor child. The court considers the residential status of each parent. The age of the child can be a factor.
The wishes of the child are not determinative of which parent is designated as the primary custodian of a child. Depending on the age, and maturity level, of a child, the court can use a child’s preferences as one consideration in determining what is in the best interests of that minor.
Legal and Physical Custody in the State of New York
In the state of New York, there are two general types of custody. Legal custody is the right of a parent to make major life decisions on behalf of a child. Major life decisions include those associated with education, religion, and medical care.
Physical custody is the second type. Physical custody involves where the child will reside. Issues surrounding parenting time or visitation are associated with those decisions made in regard to physical custody of a minor child.
Child Support and Child Custody
Although the non-custodial parent is likely to be obliged to pay child support, the award of child support and child custody are otherwise separate issues. For example, if the non-custodial parent fails to make appropriate child support payments, the custodial parent cannot automatically block the other party from having parenting time with the child. A court ordered must be obtained before visitation can be interrupted.