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Joint Custody in New York

Sharing Parental Responsibilities & Decision-Making

In previous years, it was a given that one parent would be given custody of the child. This was typically the mother and was all-inclusive type of custody - giving them both physical and legal control. This, however, has changed in recent years and it is becoming more and more common for courts to grant what is known as joint custody. This is done in an attempt to help the children keep close relationships with both parents as it is determined to be in the best interest of the child.

When joint custody is awarded it could be joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both - the courts awarding an arrangement that best suits the actual family. If you would like to have your legal rights protected or if you would like to learn more about what can be done to help you gain custody of your child, it is highly recommended that you pick up the phone and contact a New York child custody attorney from Eiges & Orgel, PLLC as soon as you possibly can.

Joint Custody in New York

Joint Custody: An award of joint custody requires a great deal of cooperation between parents. Encompassed in a joint custody determination are the concepts of legal custody and physical custody.

  • Legal custody: Concerns decision-making with respect to a child’s welfare, education, religious upbringing, etc. It is often referred to as joint decision-making. A grant of legal custody gives a parent the authority to make major decisions regarding the child and their wellbeing. Joint legal custody requires the parents to confer and collaborate in the making of these upbringing choices.
  • Physical custody: Involves the child’s residence as well as the day-to-day physical care and supervision of a child. Physical custody may be shared by cooperating parents who can agree upon a schedule by which the child moves between the homes of the two parents. This division of time may be equal or disparate depending on the family situation. Physical custody is also referred to as residential custody.

When a court awards joint custody, joint decision-making is often conferred equally upon both parents. However, one parent may be granted final decision making ability. An award of joint legal custody does not necessitate joint physical custody .

Joint custody is only appropriate where the parents are capable of sharing responsibilities and decision making without significant conflict. The concept of joint custody envisages a positive and collaborative relationship among divorced or separated parents. In New York, before a grant of joint custody, courts will look to the stability and amicability of the parental relationship.

Joint custody requires parents to be in consistent contact and to discuss major and difficult decisions in a productive manner. As can be imagined, two individuals who have decided to break up often cannot simply set aside their issues to co-parent in a mature and civilized manner. As a result, New York courts are generally hesitant to award joint custody. In making this determination a presiding court may look to a myriad of factors such as the parents’ ability to cooperate, the age of the child, the desires of the child, the geographic distance between the parties, the individual home environments, the nurturing capability of each parent, and the existing relationships between each parent and child. Ultimately, the best interest of the child is controlling.

Custody Lawyer Serving New York, New York


Choosing a NYC divorce lawyer is an investment in your future. You need an attorney that knows and understands the intricacies of the law. The divorce attorneys of Eiges & Orgel, PLLC have the experience you need to protect your interests.

At Eiges & Orgel, PLLC, we have over 60 years of combined experience that we bring to the table. We are AV® rated and been rated as "excellent" from This is the level of experience and proven results that you need when you are facing a divorce. We strongly believe that our firm is different from the average firm because we mostly operated on a fixed fee schedule - allowing our clients to know the cost of the process before they commit. We are also committed to providing personalized assistance when it matters most, helping our clients with individualized answers during this trying time.

To learn more about joint custody and what can be done, please contact a New York custody lawyer.

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