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What factors are considered for child custody in New York?

Child custodial issues are often one of the most complex and difficult cases in family law. The courts usually look into various factors to determine child custodial issues. The State of New York prescribes a test determining the best interest of the child for judges to decide child custodial issues.

In order to make a determination as to the best interest of the child, courts often look into various factors, including who was the primary caregiver of the child prior to the divorce and custodial court battles. The child's financial and emotional stability becomes a huge factor in determining which biological parent gets custody of the child. Many legal professionals advise parents to make sure that they have pictorial and written documents regarding the child's behavior prior to seeking custody.

Keeping a child custody journal may help many parents. The journal may list the daily activities, including daily activities as well as special activities in which the children and parents have participated. For instance, even mundane activities such as eating and the specific meals eaten may become a factor in cases where there are allegations of child abuse.

Parents are also encouraged to take lot of pictures when their child visits them. These pictures would not only have emotional value, but may also help one's case in the court of law. Pictures may show evidence of child abuse by one of the biological parents. They also may aid in disproving said allegations.

In addition to hard copies of pictures, the parents also may want to keep video and audio recordings of their child. Such recordings may include a daily activity like going to the park or even that of special school activities like recitals, plays or sports activities. Keeping such records of one's activities with their children can be a relevant factor in custody cases in New York courts.

Source: The Rural Law Center of New York, Inc., "How to prepare for a child custody case in New York State", accessed Jan. 2, 2015

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