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What are the different types of child custody arrangements in New York?

January 2, 2018

Parents who live in New York will discover that child custody agreements take place under the state laws. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is often used to assist with child custody agreements in the state and if there is another state involved. There are arrangements for grandparents and joint custody options available in the state depending on what is deemed best for the child involved.

What Are The Types Of Custody?
In the state of New York, there are two types of child custody. Each type comes with its own details and terms that the court will decide on once the parents meet with a judge, mediator or attorney.

Legal
The most common type of custody is legal custody. This is a type where one parent makes the legal decisions for the child as well as life decisions pertaining to the child. These decisions can include medical care, the education of the child and any religious decisions that pertain to the child. Most parents share legal custody even if one parent has physical custody where the other does not. One parent might have the final decision on the legal aspects of the child, but both parents usually discuss the options that are available when there is a healthy relationship between the parents.

Physical
Physical custody is when the child lives with one parent instead of the other. There was a time when children used to share time with parents during the week, but more courts are making decisions that lead to the child staying with one parent during the week and the other parent on the weekends. Holidays are often shared. This is to ensure that the child stays in the same school instead of moving from one school to another when child custody arrangements are made. Sole custody is when only one parent has the child while joint custody is when each parent has custody of the child at some point during the week.

The court will make the decision about custody by what is best for the child. Judges and others who are involved with making the decision will look at both parents, the home life that is offered and where the child would thrive the most before making a final decision about how custody should be awarded. New York will examine the ability of each parent to care for the child. The mental and physical health of both parents is also taken into consideration. The court will look at any kind of domestic violence that has taken place in the home or by either parent after the separation period. Work schedules of the parents, as well as any sports schedules and school schedules of the child, will be taken into consideration so that the child has as little disruption to life as possible. Most courts will talk to the child to find out where the child wants to live as long as the child is of an age to make an informed decision.

Grandparents and other non-parents can go to the court in New York to petition for visitation as well as custody if the parents are not fit to care for the child. New York is one of the only states in the country that allows these options. There is a similar process for grandparents and non-parents to follow who are interested in seeking custody of the child. They will be examined just as thoroughly, possibly more, than the parents. The person will need to go before the court to present a case as to why the child would be best in the person’s care. A sibling is among the non-parents who can petition for custody of the child as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins.

At times, only one parent is allowed to have custody while the other parent gets visitation with the child. This is usually considered sole custody, but the various types of visitation can vary depending on the situation. Some parents have visitation freely with the child while others have supervised visitation. The times that the parent visits with the child can also vary. Most are with the child on the weekends, but there are some exceptions if both parents live in the same school district or if the child is not in school yet. Another custody situation is when one child lives with one parent and a sibling lives with the other parent. This is called split custody. It’s not seen in a lot of cases, but there is an option if the children don’t want to live with one parent or another. Both parents can still share decisions about the children and can have visits with each child.

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