Child custody is one of the most sensitive and important issues involved in litigation because of its nearness to the family and, most importantly, children. The term “child custody” is a broad one, and it delineates the general rights of the child, responsibilities of the parent, and the expectations of all parties involved. Child custody is not limited to these themes, but instead, may be best understood as a package of several explicit and implicit subjects, all of which are equally relevant. Locating and securing the services of the proper attorney is one of the first steps towards addressing the issue, as the advice and assistance offered can be quite valuable.
Child custody includes two specific elements and these are legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is defined as the responsibility of a specific parent to make decisions on behalf of a child, while physical custody is reliant on where (or with whom) the child will live. Custody variants include joint and sole custody, which require that parents make major decisions (i.e. school, education, religion, health, etc.) regarding the child together while the child lives with one parent (joint) or the child is cared for exclusively by one parent (sole).
When deciding what is best for the child during the custody process, the court will consider several factors and is obligated to make sure the child is afforded the greatest opportunity for future stability, growth, and success. The court will consider the following as well as other questions: Which parent has been the primary care giver? What are the parenting skills of each parent? What special needs of the child must be addressed? What is the mental and physical health status of all individuals involved? Has domestic violence ever been an issue in the household? What are the work schedules of the parents and how might they conflict with the needs of the child both educationally and personally? What is the influence of siblings? What does the child want?
David Isaacson, Attorney at Law, brings his exceptional procedural knowledge and litigation experience to the process of child custody and litigation, and provides consultation as well as other legal services through his New City, New York office.
Note: New York courts cannot establish orders regarding a child’s custody and visitation once they reach the age of eighteen.
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