How Does a NY Judge Determine Child Custody & Visitation?

Custody & Visitation in New York Divorce Cases

Divorce is far more than a separation between two people. It’s a separation of families and livelihoods. When children are involved, family courts prioritize their needs and wellbeing above all else. That’s why New York requires child custody and visitation of children who are 17 or younger to be decided before a judge grants a divorce.

After all, children should not suffer the consequences of their parents’ divorce. Parents are expected to know what’s best for their children, which is why New York family courts give both spouses the responsibility to determine child custody, visitation and support before a judgment is signed.

When a New York judge decides child custody and visitation, a judge will make their decisions based on what’s best for the children involved. They will consider the following:

  • who has been the child's primary caretaker
  • The age and sex of the child
  • the quality of each parent's home environment
  • how "fit" each parent is (stable home and lifestyle, good judgment, employed, good mental and physical health)
  • the child’s ties to their school, home and community.
  • which parent the child is living with now, and for how long
  • each parent's ability to provide emotional and intellectual support for the child
  • which parent allows the other parent into the child's life (does not try to cut out the other parent)
  • whether there are opportunities for interaction with each parent’s extended family
  • if the child is old enough, which parent the child wants to live with
  • whether the child would be separated from any siblings
  • whether either parent has been sexual, drug or alcohol abuse
  • whether there has been domestic violence

There are other factors that a judge may consider when determining child custody in New York. Thus, if you’re considering filing for divorce in Dutchess County, NY, it’s in your best interests to retain dependable legal counsel to help ensure you make the best possible decisions for you and your child.

The Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC brings proven and experienced divorce counsel to every case, which is the key to our success. Learn how we can be of service to you during your divorce by contacting (845) 605-4330.

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