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How is Custody Determined in New York

One of the most contentious disputes in a divorce is determining custody of the child. Some couples are able to amicably work this out on their own, but if they cannot it often results in significant acrimony. The court will look at a variety of factors when determining who should be the primary caretaker of the child, so it is important to have an experienced divorce attorney advocating on your behalf.

Some people are under the impression that women have the advantage in determining child custody. This is not the case. The court will not look at the gender of either parent but rather seek to find which parent represents the “best interest of the child.” Therefore a man should not hesitate to seek custody of their child or children if he thinks he can best meet the needs of the child.

In determining the best interest of the child, the court will first look at who is the primary caretaker of the child. This is the parent that, for instance, prepares meals for the child, takes him or her to school and picks them up, gets them dressed in the morning, and performs chores for the child.

The court will then look at the home lives of the respective parents. If one parent is often moving, has a substance abuse problem, the amount of time a parent would have to spend with the child, etc. The court wants to find a stable place for the child that, ideally, would keep them with their siblings. When the court weighs these factors, it helps them determine which parent should be the custodial parent.

At The Law Offices of Seidner & Associates, we vigorously advocate for our clients. We understand that a child is the most important part of a parent’s life and we will fight to earn you custody of your child. To learn more about how we can help with this emotional process, contact us today for a free consultation.


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