Queens, NY- When a couple decides to get a divorce, one of the main hurdles they will encounter is determining child custody. It’s common for couples to disagree on some if not all aspects of a child’s upbringing, a cannot decide which parent should have primary custody of their child or children. Such disagreements can lead to knock-down, drag-out fights, and divorcing couples must turn to New York family court judges to help them resolve their child custody issues.
Child custody disputes center on two things; how much, if any, support is awarded and which parent is awarded primary custody. If a couple and their respective divorce lawyers are unable to reach a compromise, the task falls to a judge who will look at a number of factors to determine what is in the best interest of a child.
Abuse and neglect- If one parent physically or sexually abused a child, they may be denied custody and visitation depending on their actions.
Age- Family court judges in New York are increasingly moving away from giving custody preference to mothers. But if a child is very young– an infant or a toddler—a judge may decide the mother is best suited to care for a child and may be awarded primary custody.
The living conditions of each spouse- The health and safety of a child are paramount to the family court, so they want to make sure children have a stable living situation. For instance, a parent who is living with a friend while they are pulling their lives back together is probably not going to be awarded custody. A parent who remains in the family home or has their place is more likely to be awarded primary or shared custody.
Stability- Everyone needs stability, but it is especially important for children who are usually deeply affected by divorce. Courts prefer children have stability in their lives, so courts often award primary custody to the parent who remains in the marital home.
A parent’s bond with a child before the divorce- Sometimes a child forms a stronger bond with one parent than the other which a judge will take into consideration.A lawyer can make divorce a little easier.
Wishes of the child- Family courts will also listen to the wishes of a child when determining child custody visitation arrangements, especially if the child is over the age of 12. Not all judges like to involve children in the process.
Those are just a few factors courts will look at when considering the best interests of a child. When a divorce and child custody fight gets ugly, a divorce lawyer in Queens, New York will use their skills and experience to help you get the child custody arrangement you think is fair and deserved. Let USAttorneys connect you with a lawyer who will work to ensure you are happy with your divorce settlement.