Who determines custody in New York?

Custody is one of the most highly contested parts of a divorce because generally, parents want to spend as much time with their children as they can. The big question is how custody is decided upon in New York State. Hopefully, it’s determined between the parents themselves. In the case where it is not and the court is asked to determine the issue of custody, what does the court consider?

The overall guiding principle in the state of New York is what’s in the best interest of the children? You can ask five different attorneys what that means or five different judges, and you’ll get five different answers. The statute talks about many different factors that a court would look at if he or she is called upon to determine which parent, in the judge’s view, would best promote the best interests of the children.

There has been a recent trend in custody litigation that one of the factors that has gained prominence is whether one parent more willing to foster a healthy relationship between the other parent and the children. If a court has the impression that one parent – if he or she awards custody to one parent over the other, if the court feels that that parent will sabotage the relationship between the noncustodial parent and the child, that factor will have great weight and perhaps have the judge award custody to the other parent.

There is a long list of factors that a court may look at when conducting an analysis as to what parent would best promote the best interest of the child.

If you require experienced legal representation for divorce and family law matters, contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Paige, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.