Child custody refers to the right to take part in raising a child. Raising a child involves many factors, such as where the child will live, what school the child will attend along with the type of religious upbringing and healthcare the child will receive. Generally, during divorce, both parents have custody rights, but often one parent assumes a more active role as the child’s custodian than the other parent. When determining child custody rights, NY courts make top priority the well-being of the child — whatever they view as in the child’s best interests. Also, NY law grants both parents equal rights in child custody determinations. In other words, courts cannot grant preference to one parent over the other because the parent is the child’s mother or the child’s father.
Whether resolving custody issues through mediation or in the courtroom, Attorney Chris Palermo works closely and diligently to help you obtain your objectives and an outcome that is best for your child.
The two main types of child custody are joint and sole custody. Even with joint custody, where both parents share responsibilities in raising their child, the courts must assign one of the parents residential custody. Residential custody refers to the primary residence where the child will live most of the time. The parent with residential custody is the custodial parent and the other parent is the noncustodial parent, who generally pays child support.
In sole custody, the court grants all decision-making rights and residential custody to one parent. The other parent (the non-custodial parent) receives parenting time (visitation rights).
A typical child custody arrangement would be for the non-residential parent to spend every other weekend, every other holiday, one or two non-overnight weekday visits, 50% of school recesses and two non-consecutive weeks in the summer with the child. However, different arrangements can be part of a custody agreement or settlement, and today, many non-residential parents are seeking and receiving more time with their children than the arrangement just described.
Getting legal help enables you to make informed decisions. As your Suffolk County, Long Island divorce lawyer, I can answer your questions, explain your legal rights, and work with you to achieve a favorable custody outcome that is best for you and your child.
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