When awarding custody in the past, the courts were biased toward mothers. In most cases, primary custody was awarded to women. This meant that fathers, no matter how capable of caring for their children, were restricted to visitation and weekend hours. However, this has shifted, making it much easier for men to get custody. If you want to fight to get guardianship of your child, knowing where to start is crucial. Keep reading to learn more about how custody in New York is determined and whether or not a Suffolk County child custody lawyer can help you.
Is the Mother More Likely to Get Primary Custody?
In decades past, the court was biased toward awarding guardianship to mothers. However, as more women are in the workforce, awarding custody has become a much more even decision. Because mothers are no longer staying home, it evens the playing field for custody.
Nowadays, New York looks at custody through a completely unbiased lens. Instead of going into a case favoring the mother, the judge will start with the assumption that custody will be split 50/50. As they learn more about the family situation and each parent, they adjust guardianship as they see fit, always keeping the child’s best interest in mind.
What Factors Can Influence Who Gets Custody?
There are a number of factors that can influence which parent gets custody. As previously mentioned, the judge will take numerous components into consideration in order to decide what is best for the child. Considerations will surround the following factors:
- Whether either parent has a history of violence or abuse
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child
- If the child is old enough, their preference
- If the choice would disrupt the child’s school or social life
- Each parent’s mental health
- Each parent’s physical health
- The career and job responsibilities of each parent
Generally, the judge will try to maintain an even custody split when possible. This is due to the fact that many believe spending equal time with both parents is beneficial for children.
However, fathers may receive primary custody of children if the mother is proven unfit. This includes evidence of abuse or mental illness or if the mother is incarcerated or has a history of abandoning the child for long periods of time.
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me Fight for Custody?
If you’re preparing to enter a custody battle, ensuring you have a competent attorney on your side is crucial. The last thing you want is to show up to court unprepared while your child’s mother has a lawyer ready to represent her. A custody attorney can help prove you are more than capable of parenting your child.
As a father, you should never assume you need to relinquish your custody rights. Instead, reach out to Peter V. Mandi & Associates to connect with a competent attorney who can help guide you through the process. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.