Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody

In the state of New York, the court can determine orders regarding a child’s custody up until they are eighteen years old. There are often several factors that come into play during a child custody battle that can influence the end result. Both legal custody and physical custody must be determined by the court during a child custody battle for it to be successful. If you are looking for help from the best law firm on Long Island to assist you during your custody battle, look no further than the team at Simonetti & Associates!

Legal Custody

When it comes to child custody, there is what as known as legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about the child’s life, commonly in regards to religious upbringing, where they go to school, and important medical decisions. Either one parent or both may be awarded legal custody. If the parents are awarded joint legal custody, they are to make all of these decisions in agreement, regardless of which parent the child resides with. Sole legal custody would indicate that only one parent selected by the court is to make decisions about the child.

If the parents tend to fight over decisions regarding their child, the judge will most likely opt to provide one parent with sole legal custody. Additionally, sole legal custody may be granted if:

  • One parent does not live locally.
  • One parent treats the child poorly.
  • One parent does not play an active role in the child’s life or care to spend time with them.

If joint legal custody is granted to both parents, then one parent may be designated as the ‘tie-breaker’ for when a decision cannot be easily made. 

Physical Custody 

Physical custody refers to the right to the supervision and physical care of the child. Also known as residential custody, when this form of custody is awarded, it will determine where the child will reside. Like legal custody, this can be awarded to either one parent or both. If joint physical custody is awarded, then the child will spend equal amounts of time residing with both parents, likely switching on a set schedule. However, joint physical custody may not be a viable solution if:

  • The parents do not reside close enough to each other to easily allow for the child to go back-and-forth between them.
  • The parents do not get along well enough to allow for easy transitions.

If sole physical custody is awarded to one parent, then the child is to reside with that particular parent for more than 50% of the time with the noncustodial party likely being granted visitation rights. The most common resolution with this type of custody is for the parent with sole custody to continue living in the family home with the child, with regular visits to the other parent.

Best Law Firm On Long Island

Child custody battles are often a difficult process for many divorcing couples. However, hiring a good family lawyer can be half the battle. At Simonetti & Associates, the best law firm on Long Island, you can rest assured that the custody arrangement between you and your ex-spouse will be one that is fair to you. Contact us to get the assistance you need to have a stress-free custody battle today!

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