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Are you going to get custody of your child?

When you are getting a divorce, one of the most crucial decisions is who gets custody of your child. You want custody, but how do you get it? Obtaining custody requires you to understand what the family court considers when making such determinations. 

Custody battles may be confusing and difficult to navigate, which may mean you need the help of an attorney. But read below for some basic information that will help you win your custody fight. 

What matters to the court 

New York family courts will keep one main question in mind during your custody case: What is the best interest of the child? Some things the judge will consider that may determine whether you get custody include:

  • Who the primary caregiver is
  • The strengths, weaknesses and overall parenting skills of both parents
  • Whether there is a family history of domestic violence
  • The physical and mental health of both parents
  • The child care plans and work schedules of both parents

The judge will ultimately make a decision based on what will give your child the safest and healthiest life. 

Joint custody and visitation

Custody does not always go to one parent. Unless one of you is violent or unstable, it is likely the court will prefer the child to see both of you in some capacity. This may result in joint custody, which may require your child to spend a significant amount of time with both of you. The court may also give one of you visitation time. You may need to create a parenting plan with the other parent. The court generally wants children to have healthy relationships with both parents, if possible. 

It may be frustrating to navigate the custody process, especially when you are dealing with all other aspects of your marriage falling apart. If you need more help understanding custody and winning the battle, talk to a family law attorney.

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