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What Factors Does The Court Look At When Awarding Child Custody In New York?

When it comes to divorce, who gets child custody is often the issue that leads to the most arguments and, sometimes, to fierce litigation. As a parent, you want what is best for your child. What you may not realize is that so does the court. However, the court looks at each child custody case without bias for either parent — it cares only about the welfare of the child or children involved. That being said, the following are some of the factors the court considers when awarding child custody in New York:

  • The wishes of the child, if the child is of an age where they can express their desire — in most cases, 12 years of age or older
  • Whether either parent has been the primary care provider of the child
  • If there has been a history of domestic violence with either parent
  • The work schedules of each parent
  • The child's relationship with parents, siblings and extended family
  • Mental and physical health of both parents
  • Each parent's ability to foster and encourage a relationship with the other parent
  • Parenting skills of both parents and their ability to provide for a child with special needs, if applicable

In many cases, parents are able to reach an agreement regarding their custody arrangement with the help of their attorneys or mediators. However, if no amicable decision can be made between parties, the courts may design a parenting plan for you.

For more information on how the child custody process works in New York, or for assistance modifying an existing custody order, seek help from an accomplished family law attorney.

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