During the divorce process in New York, there will come a time when you have to decide custody arrangements. Courts prefer that divorcing couples work together and find a way to co-parent effectively. The old ideas about one parent being the main caregiver no longer hold up well. The system understands that children do best when both parents are in their lives, which is why it encourages co-parenting solutions.
As you navigate the custody laws, you need to take note of some important factors. The New York State Unified Court System works diligently to ensure you understand how child custody works in the state when you are trying to create a custody arrangement. To help you, here are four important points to keep in mind.
- A lack of court order
Before the court issues a formal child custody order, you both have equal rights when it comes to the custody of the children. This means you have to work with the other parent to care for your children. If you try to withhold visitation, you could get in legal trouble.
No child custody order is set in stone. You can modify it in the future. So, if your case does not go the way you want it to, you can go back to court later and request changes.
- Two types of custody
There are two types of custody that the court will need to arrange in your case. The first is physical custody, which is who the children will live with and who is primarily responsible for the care of the children. The second is legal custody. This is the right to make decisions for and about the child.
- Best interest
Any decisions the court makes about child custody consider the best interests of the child. The court does not care how you or your spouse feel. The judge focuses on what is the best thing for the child and what situation would make his or her life the most positive.