Frequently Asked Questions about New York Child Custody

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Children are often the most affected when a family breaks. Some people demand sole custody of their kids. Others are more lenient and agree to share custody. There are a lot of factors that any judge looks at before making this critical decision. In case you are wondering if your custody hearing will go in your favor, you are not alone. Here are some frequently asked questions about child custody laws in New York.

What Does Joint or Sole Custody Mean?

Custody is broadly categorized into legal and physical. Legal custody refers to decision-making authority over the child while physical custody deals with time allocation. Joint legal custody means the two parties have to consult with each other on matters, such as religion, medical, and school.

On the other hand, sole legal custody gives all these powers to one party. Likewise, sole physical custody means one parent gets all the time with the child leaving little to no time at all for the other. Joint physical means both parties share time with the child 50/50. However, if one parent spends more than 50% of the time with the child, they become the primary custodian.

Who Can File a Petition for The Custody Order?

Anybody with a substantial relationship with the child can file a petition for the custody order in New York, including the parent, grandparents, and other family members. The petition is presented in a family court requesting the child to be placed in their care. The party that presently cares for the child must be served in person. In most cases, it's one parent serving the other. However, if the lawsuit was filed by a non-parent, then both parents are summoned.

If You Share Custody, Who Pays Child Support?

New York's child support standard act decrees that the parent with less than 50% of the custodial time pays child support. If the custody is precisely 50/50, the parent with the higher income is regarded as the non-custodial party who pays child support to the custodial parent. However, both parties can agree to waive any child support.

Can the Child Choose the Custodian?

This answer to this question depends on the age of the child. In New York, a child is assigned an attorney, commonly known as a Legal guardian. This attorney will listen to the child's wishes and advocate for them. If they are too young, their preferences may change a lot and often carry less weight.

How is Custody Decided?

Custody can be decided by voluntary agreement among the parties. The contract is then entered into the family court and becomes binding. If the two parties can reach an agreement, a custody petition is filed, and a trial is held. It may be part of the divorce action or separate. The final determination is made in the best interest of the child. Some of the factors considered are

  • Having a stable job.
  • Adequate living arrangements, such as bedrooms and amenities.
  • Closeness with the child.
  • Lifestyle choices, including promiscuity, violence, and substance abuse.

What If One Parent Moves the Kids Out of State?

If the custody order is already in place, the kids cannot be relocated without consent from the other parent. The uniform child custody jurisdiction act means the custody order is binding in all 50 states. However, relocation can also be authorized by a judge after a relocation proceeding. However, if the no custody order were in place, the parent would have to go to court in the state of residence.

Get Help from a New York Child Custody Lawyer

Dealing with a custody battle is very delicate. You might sign away your rights, thinking you are doing the right thing. Which is why it helps to have an experienced divorce and family lawyer guiding your every step of the way. The attorneys at Eiges and Orgel have been helping families in New York for more than 60 years now. Your New York child custody case couldn't be in better hands.

Call us at (347) 848-1850 to set up a consultation with our skilled child custody lawyers today.