In New York state, a parent can have legal and/or physical custody of a child. In some cases, either legal or physical custody will be shared between the parents or given to one person. Generally, parents share legal custody, which allows them to make decisions about a child collectively. If a parent has physical custody, the kid primarily lives with that person. It is not uncommon for a parent to get sole physical custody even if legal custody is shared.
When determining who gets custody, a court must determine what is in the best interest of the child. This is done by looking at a variety of factors, such as who can best care for the child or the hours that each parent works. The physical and mental health of the parents will likely be reviewed as well as the ability of the parents to work together.
If the child is old enough, his or her input may also be considered. In addition, a court will look into whether there is any history of domestic violence or other issues that could put the child’s safety in jeopardy. If other factors are deemed to be relevant in a case, they will be considered as well when making a custody decision.
Those who are involved in a child custody and visitation matter may want to consider working with an attorney. This may be beneficial whether the matter is resolved in court or through other informal means. An attorney could review a parenting plan to determine if it would likely be approved by a judge. Generally speaking, parents may be better off creating a plan on their own without major court involvement. Doing so keeps them in control of the process.