At The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, our experienced family law attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the complex and emotional process of child custody. If you didn’t have children, you could split your resources and go your separate ways. But when you divorce after having children, you remain co-parents, and your divorce becomes about how to best provide for them.
Because of this, we understand that this is a sensitive issue. Our team is committed to providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance that will help you secure the best possible outcome for your family.
What is Child Custody?
Child custody refers to the legal and practical rights as well as the responsibilities that parents have towards their children. This includes making decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, health care, physical care, and other important aspects of their lives. In general, there are two overarching types of child custody with their subtypes: physical custody and legal custody.
- Physical Custody: This refers to who the child will live and spend their time with. In most cases, one parent is granted primary physical custody while the other has visitation rights, or they split their time with the children throughout the year.
- Legal Custody: This refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing. In some cases, both parents may share legal custody, while only one parent may have sole physical custody.
How is Child Custody Decided in New York?
In most cases, if both parents agree with what they think will be the best for their children, the court will sign off on it. There are rare instances where the court will not agree, such as in cases they believe there has been coercion of one parent, or some form of abuse between the parents or to the child.
In the case that the court doesn’t agree with the parents’ agreed-upon agreement, or as it happens more often, can’t agree, the court will make the final decisions. In the state of New York, the court will take into consideration a variety of factors to determine who should have primary physical and legal custody. Some of these factors include:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s basic needs, both financially and physically
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent
- The child’s preference, if they are old enough to express it
It is important to note that New York courts generally prefer for both parents to have an active role in their child’s life. The only time they don’t is when there are extenuating circumstances that would make this not in the child’s best interests.
Types of Child Custody
There are a few different types of child custody arrangements that may be granted by the court. These include:
- Sole Custody: One parent has both physical and legal custody of the child.
- Joint Custody: Both parents share physical and/or legal custody of the child.
- Split Custody: Each parent has physical custody of one or more children from the same family. This typically only happens when one child has needs that only one parent can fulfill that the other child(ren) doesn’t have. This can also happen when there is a severe schism between the children or between a child and one of their parents.
- Bird’s Nest Custody: The child stays in one home while the parents take turns living there based on a predetermined schedule.
Protecting Children During Divorce
Going through a divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. However, some steps can be taken to minimize the negative effects of divorce on children. These include:
- Keeping conflicts away from the child: Parents need to try to resolve their differences without involving their children. Parent alienation can be considered abuse and dangerous to the children’s emotional well-being, as well as their relationship with the other parent.
- Maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship: Despite any differences, both parents are expected to put their child’s needs first and work together to co-parent effectively.
- Having open communication with the child: It is important for children to feel heard and have a safe space to express their feelings during this difficult time.
Contact the Child Custody Attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC
At The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, our skilled child custody attorneys can help guide you through every step of the child custody process. We are committed to helping parents reach a solution that is in the best interests of their children.
Child custody is a complex and emotional issue that requires careful consideration and legal guidance. Our team of experienced child custody attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty is dedicated to helping parents navigate this difficult process most effectively and compassionately.
We understand the importance of reaching a resolution that is in the best interests of your child, and we will work tirelessly to achieve just that. Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you protect your rights and the well-being of your child.