An Overview of Child Custody
Custody in Long Island
The area of family law places great care and emphasis on children and their well-being during a divorce proceeding. Important decisions made during a divorce regarding custody affect a child's future significantly. In a contested divorce there may be disagreements regarding child custody, necessitating the courts make the final rulings. An uncontested divorce normally has the child's welfare in mind and custody decisions are agreeable to the children and spouses. A judge and court will always protect the interests of a child of divorcing parents.
Types of Child Custody
Child custody involves the residential or physical custody - where the child will live. The spouse who has legal custody has the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the raising of the child. The two main types of custody are:
- Joint Custody - Together the parents make the major decisions about the education, health and religion of the child
- Sole Custody - One parent has the right to make the major decisions about the child's raising and upbringing
Custody rights can be broken down further into the categories of physical and legal custody. Physical custody involves the primary residence of the child- where the child will live the majority of the time. Legal custody involves a parent's legal right to make decisions for the child's life, such as how the child will be raised, their health, where they will go to school, and all other major decisions. Parents who are on good terms often seek to work together to make decisions for their children, but when the parents tend to argue and each believes they deserve primary custody of the children, the court will have to make the decision for them.
When possible, it is best for the parents to make the decisions that will have a bearing on the raising of their children, rather than allowing the courts to decide for them. Unfortunately, many parents are unable to decide upon what is best for their children, and the family judge must decide which parent is a more fitting custodian for the child. The court will consider a number of factors before making their custody decision, such as:
- The child's physical and mental health
- The child's gender and age
- The child's current education
- The child's everyday routine
- The child's relationships with other family members
- The child's wishes, if they are old enough to have a say
- The parents' physical and mental health
- Each parent's daily schedule and lifestyle
- Which parent was the child's primary caregiver
- Each parent's ability to care for the child
- The parents' financial circumstances
- The parents' ability to work together for their child's sake
- Each parent's willingness to encourage their child's relationship with the other parent
- Whether there is any history of domestic violence in the family
Are you involved in custody dispute?
Due to the importance of child custody issues, a couple should contact a Long Island family lawyer for guidance as to the custody laws involved when it comes to doing what is best for divorcing spouses and their children. Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Scupp & Berman, LLP, have successfully helped many couples with their child custody issues whether in a contested or uncontested divorce. Our goal is to protect your relationship with your children and help you achieve a court order that is best for your children's wellbeing, and we will fight adamantly on your behalf. We vigorously protect our client's rights in custody matters and their wishes regarding this crucial matter will be our top priority. Make an appointment today for a consultation and review of your child custody issues.