Child custody for married and unmarried couples are the same. It involves which parent can care for their children. Child custody involves two issues: physical and legal custody. In Long Island, the child custody laws are outlined in New York’s Domestic Relations Law 240.
Sole and Physical Custody in Long Island
Physical custody is where a child primarily resides. Physical custody is often referred to residential custody.
Sole physical custody occurs when a child lives with one parent only. The other parent may have supervised or unsupervised visits with the child. The parent without physical custody is called the non-custodial parent. For instance, the child may spend the weekend or a couple hours with the non-custodial parent.
Joint physical custody occurs when both parents share custody residential custody of the child. This means the child lives with both parents in some type of arrangement. The child custody arrangement could involve the child living with their father through the school year and their mother during the summers.
Sole and Joint Legal Custody in Long Island
Legal custody is the legal right given to a parent to determine who their child is raised. This includes important decisions involving medical care, education and religion. Sole legal custody means one parent has the legal right to make all these decisions. Joint custody involves both parents have the legal right to determine how their child will be raised.
Child Custody is not a Simple Issue
Physical and legal child custody is a complex issue because a parent does not automatically receive both sole or joint custody. It could be a hybrid of child custody types. For instance, a father may have sole physical custody and joint legal custody. A mother could have joint legal and physical custody. The final decision is made according to what is in the best interest of the child at that time.
Best Interest of the Child Standard
In Long Island, the family court strictly follows the standard of what is in the best interest of the child. This means a mother does not automatically had an advantage over the father in family court. Also, this means the court is willing to make decisions based on what is fair to the child and not their parents.
A lot of factors go into deciding child custody issues based on the child’s best interest standard. These factors include, but are not limited to:
• If the child is old enough to understand what is going and can voice their opinion about where they want to reside
• Each parent’s mental physical and mental health
• Each parent’s ability to care for their child
• Any domestic violence history in the family
• Each parent’s ability to work together for the child’s sake
Is Joint Custody Always an Option in a Long Island Child Custody Case?
No. In New York, physical and legal custody is typically an option for parents who can put their child first. This means the parents have an amicable relationship. They also can communicate about all matters affecting their child.
Contact a Long Island Child Custody Attorney about Your Child Custody Fight
You need a child custody willing to fight to for your child. We are not interested in having your child stuck in the middle of a custody case. Whether you are interested in joint and/or sole physical and legal custody, we are here to represent you.
We are the legal team who will represent you and your child’s needs. Contact us today and let’s discuss all your child custody options and how to proceed with your case.