Child Custody and Visitation in New York

Two people are working on a project together.

What is Custody?

Custody is the parental responsibility of a child. There are two types of Custody:

  1. Legal Custody: The right and responsibility to make decisions for a child.
  2. Physical Custody: The living location for a child.

What is Visitation?

Parenting time between a child and a parent. Typically, the parent who does not have physical custody of the child can usually get frequent and meaningful visitation.

What is the difference between Joint Custody and Sole Custody?

  1. Joint Custody: Both parents make major decisions about the child together such as education, health, and religion.
  2. Sole Custody: Only one parent has the right to make the major decisions.

How does the Court decide Custody?

Custody is decided by what is best for the child.

What are some of the factors the Court considers when deciding Custody?

  • Which parent has been the main care giver for the child.
  • The parenting skills of each parent, including strengths and weaknesses and their ability to provide for the child’s special needs, if any.
  • The mental and physical health of the parents.
  • Work schedules and child care plans of each parent.
  • The child’s relationship with members of the rest of the family.
  • Child’s preference, depending on the child’s age.

New York Child Custody Laws are complicated so you should meet with an experienced divorce lawyer – even if you think your situation will be easy or straightforward. The Underwood Law Firm is one of the few firms in the Syracuse area that offers free consultations on Divorce & Family Law so that everyone has an opportunity to speak with an experienced attorney about their case.

The Underwood Law Firm handles all aspects of divorce and family law including adoption, child custody, child support, and separation cases in the following areas: Syracuse, Utica, Albany, Watertown, Oswego, Binghamton; Onondaga County and Madison County, including the towns, cities and villages of: Fayetteville, Manlius, DeWitt, Morrisville, Cicero, Liverpool, East Syracuse, Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Camillus, Clay, Fabius, Elbridge, Geddes, Jordan, Lafayette, Lysander, Marcellus, Minoa, North Syracuse, Otisco, Pompey, Salina, Skaneateles, Spafford, Tully, Van Buren, Eaton, Cazenovia, Canastota, Brewerton, Solvay, Central Square, Cato, Chittenango, Oneida and many other areas.

Updated: 3/21/18