Child custody may be at the top of your list of concerns during your divorce. Navigating child custody can be made easier if you know what to anticipate and how child custody decisions are made in New York.
Child custody factors used to determine custody
There is a list of child custody factors used to determine child custody. Each factor is designed to help determine what child custody arrangement is best for the child. The best interests of the child guide every child custody decision.
A primary child custody consideration is stability for the child, which is why the parent whom the child is initially placed with may receive preference for custody. Priority consideration is also given to the parent who was the primary caretaker for the child prior to the divorce.
Which parent is able to secure the best childcare arrangements for the child when both parents are working is another factor that is considered. Likewise, which parent can provide the best educational opportunities for the child will be taken into account.
Conditions of the home environment are also considered, as well as where the child’s siblings live. The ability of the parents to financially provide for the child is another factor that will be evaluated. The child’s preference may also be considered depending on the child’s age. Lastly, the family law court’s observations of the parents will also be considered.
The mental health of the parents is another factor. If one parent has mental health concerns, such as an untreated mental illness, it is unlikely they will receive custody of the child. The physical health of the parents is also taken into account and physical health problems, such as a disability, can impact a child custody award. Any history of spousal abuse, abuse, neglect or drug or alcohol use may also be considered when determining custody. Child custody can be complex but because of its importance, it is essential to understand how it is determined.