Long Island Child Custody Attorneys
Child custody issues tend to be the most sensitive and complex of all family law matters. The physical and legal custody of a child is usually addressed by the court during divorce proceedings, but can also be addressed without a divorce action in family court. It is the court's primary objective to consider the best interests of the child, not the reasoning of the parents.
How is Custody Determinded in New York?
It is never easy for mothers and fathers to decide who gets custody of their children. In most cases, both the mother and the father will have very strong feelings regarding the custody arrangement, which can lead to devastating conflicts and emotional stress. Oftentimes, parents will base their decisions on their wishes instead of the best interests of the child. In these instances, the court must make a decision that will benefit and protect the security of the child.
Before the court awards custody to a parent, they will consider various factors such as the following:
- The child’s health
- The child’s age
- The child’s preference (If above a certain age)
- The health of both parents
- The lifestyle of both parents
- The parents’ ability to provide for their child’s needs
- The child’s current standard of living
Contact a Long Island child custody lawyer at our law firm for a free review of your case.
Types of Custody
In New York, there are two aspects of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody can be arranged in a number of ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Sole or "primary" physical custody is when the child lives with one parent on a day-to-day basis. A parent may have visitation rights if sole physical custody is granted to the other parent.
- Shared physical custody is when the child lives with each parent half of the time.
Legal custody is arranged in one of the following ways:
- Sole legal custody is when one parent has the legal right to make all decisions pertaining to things such as the child's health, education, and religious beliefs. (However, some of these issues, such as the children's religion can be agreed in advance by the parties in their separation agreement or divorce settlement.)
- Joint legal custody is when both parents have the legal right to make decisions pertaining to things such as the child's health, education, and religious beliefs. Alternatively, an agreement or order may assign some categories of decision making to one parent and other categories to the other: for example, one parent might decide educational issues and the other might make medical decisions.
Child Custody & Healthcare Issues
In New York, noncustodial parents are usually ordered by a family law judge to provide health insurance for dependent children. All employers in this state receive a National Medical Support Notice whenever one of their employees is required by the court to provide healthcare for their children.
From that point on, the employer will begin to withhold health insurance premiums from the noncustodial parents' earnings. At Wisselman & Associates, we are prepared to help custodial and noncustodial parents when faced with issues like:
- Employer doesn't provide dependent/family coverage
- Noncustodial parent does not qualify for health coverage
- Noncustodial parent is unemployed and does not have health coverage