For a long time in New York, women were generally as seen as the caretakers for children and the men would provide for the family financially. This line of thinking has definitely changed over the years and roles are much different than they used to be. However, there is still a notion that the mother will be favored over the father in child custody disputes. This is generally because there are still stereotypes that mothers care for the children better than men.
While these stereotypes still do exist, the mothers are not favored over fathers simply because they are the mother. When determining which parent will have custody of the children, the courts will generally try to determine which parent was the primary caretaker of the children while the parents were together.
In making this determination, the judges will look at which parent fed the children, got them ready for school, brought them to school, brought them to the doctor, helped the child with their homework, which parent was in communication with the school about the child's academic progress or disciplinary issues and other ways in which parents care for their children on a daily basis.
However, if the primary caretaker has developed serious issues, the other parent may still receive custody of the children. These issues could be drug or alcohol issues, that there has been abuse, an untreated mental illness or other negative behavior which would be detrimental to the children. Ultimately, the custody of the children will be based on the best interests of the children and there are many factors the court looks at beyond who was simply the caretaker of the children.
There are many couples in New York who are going through custody matters. These decisions are made based on the specific facts of the situation and every decision is different because of that. While the same factors are used in every case, how those apply differ.
Source: www.herjustice.org, "The Basics - Custody and Visitation in New York State" accessed on April 23, 2018