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What do I need to know about New York child custody laws?

Since child custody is an issue settled by the state instead of the federal government, there are some facts and laws that New Yorkers should be aware of when it comes to the topic. Naturally if you are interested in learning more about this topic, are currently working on a custody arrangement or are modifying a current child custody order, it is important to know what a parenting plan could look like.

When determining this arrangement, you may already be aware that the courts take the best interests of the child into account over most anything else. However, there are some state specific terms and laws a parent should be aware of.

There are two types of child custody. One is shared custody, also known as joint custody, and sole-custody, meaning only one parent has custody of the child. During joint custody, one or both parents can be legal or physical custody, which means the ability to make big life decisions for the child and the physical care of the child at some regular interval. In sole-custody situations, the non-custodial parent rarely, if ever, has legal custody.

Custody is determined in part of the best interests of the child. This is calculated based on a number of factors including the child's desires, the parent's ability to care for the child, work schedules, mental and physical health of the parent and also the parent's ability to cooperate with the other parent. It also takes into account any history of domestic violence in the family.

Keep in mind that these factors are summarized in short, but they may take much preparation to prove. It is best to dig deep into these issues and to try to cooperate with the other parent as best as possible. If this is not a reality, proving your case may mean the difference between sole-custody and joint custody. Divorcing parents should take the time to understand the options available to them so he or she can take the appropriate steps to meet the best interests of their children.

Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, "New York Child Custody Laws," Accessed Oct. 19, 2015

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