How Does Child Custody Work in New York?

contact us for a Free Consultation

There are no two child custody arrangements alike.  The resolution of child custody arrangements may seem daunting, especially during such an overwhelming time. Peter V. Mandi & Associates understands your stress and can help you every step of the way. If you are in search of strong and dedicated New York family law attorneys, contact our firm today. 

What is the difference between legal and physical child custody in New York?

In order for a court to determine the best child custody arrangements, they will consider both legal and physical custody. Physical custody refers to where the child will spend their time during the course of the week. Physical custody can also be known as residential custody and is usually awarded to one parent, know as the custodial parent or the primary caretaker. However, in some cases, parents may mutually agree that they can split their child’s time evenly, which would create a joint physical custody arrangement. Legal custody is usually more critical for parents. Legal custody is the right for a parent to be able to make important decisions regarding the child’s life. They may include religious, medical, educational, and social decisions. Usually, if a parent loses legal custody, they will experience a diminished relationship with their child.

How do courts in New York determine child custody?

Courts consider a wide array of factors that are dependant on each family’s unique situations. However, the primary factor, and arguably most important factor that the court will consider when it comes to child custody, is what the best interests of the child are. For example, if it is in the child’s best interest to have sole legal and physical custody with one parent, then that is what the court will conclude. When a court awards one parent sole legal and physical custody, the most common reasons are because the other parent has substance abuse issues or the other parent has exposed the child to domestic violence or abuse. With that being said, the court will deem the other parent unfit for child custody rights.

It is important to note that in many cases, parents may have the ability to change or modify child custody arrangements down the road. For example, if a parent was not granted any kind of custody because of a substance abuse issue, but later can prove to the court that they are clean and on the right track, that parent may be able to request a modification in their child custody arrangements. Our experienced New York child custody attorneys can help you compile the evidence needed to change your child custody agreements.

No matter your circumstances, Peter V. Mandi and Associates, Inc. has the experience and power to reach a favorable outcome for you and your child. We are here to help.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

Our Recent Blogs

Can a Parent Be Required to Pay for College?

College degrees are often required for certain jobs across the country. While they are necessary and the college experience can be exciting and fun,…
Read More

What Should I Include in My Prenuptial Agreement?

When two people decide to get married, they are committing to combining their lives as one. This can be exciting, but it is important…
Read More