Types of Child Custody Arrangements in New York

Fighting over child custody and parenting time can be tough on you and your family. It is important to understand the different types of child custody arrangements and what each type means for you and your children. A New York family law attorney can explain all of the options available to you and help you reach a resolution that works best for your family.

Child custody refers to the legal relationship between a parent and child. New York courts must make custody decisions based upon the best interests of a child. There are numerous factors the court considers to determine what custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests. Terms associated with child custody arrangements include:

  • Physical custody. Physical custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child lives the majority of the time, subject to the visitation rights of the other parent. Typically, if parents have joint custody, but one parent has physical custody, the noncustodial parent is ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent.
  • Legal custody. Legal custody is awarded to the parent who makes decisions regarding the child’s welfare, education, religion and healthcare.
  • Sole custody. Sole custody or full custody is when one parent is given physical and legal custody over the child. A parent with sole custody provides the majority of the daily care for the child, but the other parent still has financial obligations to support the child.
  • Joint custody. Joint custody is when the parents share authority regarding important decisions affecting the welfare of the child.
  • Shared custody. In some circumstances, parents create an arrangement in which each spends nearly equal time with the children.

An experienced child custody lawyer can help you determine what type of arrangement works best for you and your children.

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