The decision to file a divorce is often not taken lightly. When a marriage also includes children, the decision can become even more stressful. Fighting for custody can be emotionally draining, but we can help. At Simonetti & Associates, our Smithtown family lawyer would like to walk you through how child custody is determined in New York, so you can know what to expect.
Joint vs Sole CustodyWhen it comes to child custody following a divorce, the first thing you must understand is the difference between joint and sole custody. If you and your former spouse were awarded joint custody, it means both of you have custody of your children. This decision can include you having custody during the week, and your ex-spouse having it on the weekends.
Sole custody differs from the previous situation. When a parent is awarded sole custody, the child lives with them permanently. However, visitation rights can be avoided to the non-custodial parent so they can stay in contact with the child.
Determining Child CustodyOur Smithtown family lawyer wants to warn that when it comes to determining custody, the court will always base their ruling off of what they believe is in the best interest of the child. Factors that go into determining what is in the child’s best interest includes:
- The income of both parents
- Parents’ work schedule
- If one parent has shown signs of alcohol or drug abuse
- Preferences of older children
- The physical and mental stability of both parents