Decisions Involved in a New York Child Custody Case

In a New York child custody case, there are many decisions to be made.  The issues go well beyond who will have physical custody of the child.  A number of decisions that are involved in a typical New York child custody case, including the following:

Important Decisions

While the emphasis may be on which party will have primary physical custody, another important consideration is which parent will be able to make important decisions regarding the child.  This concept is referred to as legal custody.  Important decisions may include decisions regarding the child’s education, religion, extracurricular activities and medical needs.  It is a common arrangement for one parent to have primary physical custody and both parents to share legal custody.  However, one parent may have final say if the parents disagree about what is best for the child.

Parenting Time

There may be a number of decisions that need to be made regarding the respective parenting time of each parent.  This includes issues such as:

  • When does the child spend weekends with each parent
  • How are holidays divided
  • How is summer break handled
  • What happens when a parent wants to take vacation with the child

Detailed provisions may be included in the court order or custody agreement.

Access to the Child and Information

Parenting decisions may also need to be made regarding what other types of access the non-custodial parent will have with the child, such as mail, email, social media or phone calls.  Additionally, a provision may be included that states that each parent will have equal access to information related to the child including medical and educational records.