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How Is Child Custody Decided in a Divorce?

How Is Child Custody Decided in a Divorce?

If you are considering filing for divorce, or are currently going through legal process of one, you may be wondering what happens next. One of the biggest challenges of divorce is deciding which parent gets legal custody of a child. Court decisions vary from state to state, with some favoring the more emotional invested parent. The state of New York typically decides child custody in the best interest of the child. They strive to award physical and legal custody to the parent who will best care for the child several years down the road as well.

Some of the factors the court will consider include the wishes of the child (if old enough), the mental state of both parents, religion and cultural practices, geographic location and financial stability. For best interest situations, the court will also asses how the age and sex of child affects their long-term living situation. Each parents’ method of discipline or patterns of emotional abuse will be examined. If one parent has health difficulties, it may affect the decision of the court as well. Overall, the court is looking for the most stable home environment for a child to grow up in.

In some cases, the court prefers to mandate a joint custody ruling. This allows a child to experience healthy home life with both parents. Despite their recent divorce, parents will have to work together to continue raising their child in a joint custody situation. If one parent exhibits signs of reckless or negligent behavior, the other may be able to secure sole custody. Physical custody may also be awarded to one parent, while legal custody is given to another. The parent with legal custody has the authority to make decisions involving their child. The child will actually live with the parent who has physical custody. In cases where one parent is uninvolved, it may be best to fight for both physical and legal custody. This allows one parent to holistically care for their child, balancing both daily and more serious decisions.

If you are facing a child custody battle, enlist the legal support of a Long Island family lawyer. The Law Office of Michael J. Brescia, P.C. is prepared to handle your case. Contact us today at (631) 386-8767 to schedule a free consultation.


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