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How to Get Sole Child Custody in NY

Are you fighting for sole custody in New York?

While joint custody is typically preferred in child custody cases, there are situations where it is not feasible. In these cases, the court may be dealing with a parent who has struggled with alcohol or drug dependency, has a history of domestic violence or has otherwise proven to be an unfit or unsuitable parent. In these cases, the custodial parent may argue for what is known as sole custody.

What Is Sole Custody in NY?

"Sole custody" is a custody award that assigns both legal and physical custody to one parent. This parent is often called the "custodial parent." The non-custodial parent is generally granted visitation rights . Furthermore, while one parent may have primary custody, this parent may be required to deliberate with the non-custodial parent about certain child care decisions.

If you believe that you should be granted sole custody of your child, then you should not hesitate to pick up the phone and contact a New York child custody attorney from Eiges & Orgel, PLLC. Over the years, we have been successful in helping our clients to determine the best course of action for their case and have demonstrated a clear ability to help our clients during trying situations.

Should you choose to work with us, you be able to be confident knowing that you will have an advocate on your side who is dedicated to helping you get sole custody in New York.

Reasons for Pursuing Sole Custody After a Divorce

Pursuing sole custody after a divorce is a significant decision, as family courts generally favor shared custody arrangements that promote the child's best interests and maintain both parents' involvement in the child's life. 

However, there are situations in which one parent may seek sole custody, and some common reasons for doing so include:

  • Child's Best Interests: The primary reason for seeking sole custody should be the belief that it is in the child's best interests. If one parent genuinely believes that sole custody is necessary for the child's safety, well-being, and stability, they may pursue this option.
  • Safety Concerns: If there are legitimate concerns about the other parent's ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child, a parent may seek sole custody. This can include issues such as a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, or mental health problems that pose a risk to the child.
  • Consistent Routine: A parent may argue that a sole custody arrangement provides a more consistent and stable routine for the child, which they believe is necessary for the child's development and emotional well-being.
  • Parental Alienation: In some cases, a parent may claim that the other parent is trying to alienate the child from them or undermine the child's relationship with them. This can be a reason to seek sole custody to prevent such behaviors.
  • Geographic Distance: If one parent plans to move to a different location that would significantly affect the child's ability to maintain a meaningful relationship with the other parent, they may seek sole custody to allow for the move.
  • Parental Unfitness: If one parent can demonstrate that the other parent is unfit or incapable of caring for the child due to issues like neglect, abuse, or addiction, they may seek sole custody.
  • Child's Preference: Depending on the child's age and maturity, their preference may be considered by the court. If the child expresses a strong preference for one parent, it could be a factor in the decision.
  • Incapacitation or Incarceration: If one parent is incapacitated due to a severe illness or is incarcerated, the other parent may seek sole custody to ensure the child's needs are met.
  • History of Parental Disinterest: If one parent has shown a consistent pattern of disinterest or neglect in the child's life, the other parent may seek sole custody to provide more stable care.

It's important to remember that the court's primary focus in custody decisions is the best interests of the child. When seeking sole custody, it is crucial to have compelling evidence to support the claim, and it may also be beneficial to work with an attorney experienced in family law to navigate the legal process effectively. 

In many cases, the court may still order supervised visitation or other arrangements to maintain the child's relationship with the non-custodial parent while addressing the concerns that led to the request for sole custody.

Experienced New York Sole Custody Attorney


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.

When it's your family that you're dealing with, you want an advocate who will be willing to invest the necessary time and energy into helping you gain the optimum outcome. As an AV® peer rated firm with an "excellent" rating on, we have proven that we have what it takes to help clients in tough custody battles. You can trust that we will go the distance in our efforts to helping you get sole custody. Call today.

Schedule your initial case consultation regarding sole custody in New York. Contact Eiges & Orgel, PLLC!

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