Child Custody/Visitation

A New York court looks to provide a joint custody arrangement whereby the parents will share physical and legal custody of the minor child(ren) as it often is in the best interest of the child. Physical custody is the actual physical possession of the child whereas legal custody is the ability to make the everyday decisions on behalf of the child.Cuteness alert!

When determining custody, the courts will consider some of the following factors:

  • The child’s request (this is taken into account generally when the child is 12 years of age or older)
  • The ability of each parent to foster a relationship with the other parent
  • Parenting skills of each parent
  • Mental and physical health of the parents
  • Who has been the primary caretaker of the child(ren)
  • Work schedules of the parents
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • The child’s relationship with the parents

Once custody is determined, the Courts will than facilitate a visitation schedule with the non-custodial parent. New York considers three types of Visitation:

  1. Supervised Visitation: If the Court believes that the child could be in danger when in the presence of a parent, they will order that visitation occurs with a supervisor; this will ensure the safety of the child but still allow for the non-custodial party to be a parent.
  2. Unsupervised Visitation: This schedule is common when there is no danger to the child and a set schedule of when a child is with the other parent is fashioned. This can often be an every-other weekend schedule, every other week, or any other arrangement the parties can agree to.
  3. Therapeutic Supervised Visitation: A child may not physically be in danger, but one parent may not have the correct skills learned on how to be a parent. In this situation, a mental health professional will supervise the visitation in order to improve the bond between the parent and child.

Our Westchester family law attorneys will be able to assist you during these emotional times and ensure the best interest of your child are preserved. Please contact our Westchester Divorce Attorneys today at (914) 864-2465 or (845) 628-4301 to discuss your rights.