If I Lose Child Custody, Can I Get it Back in New York?

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If a parent is deemed unfit by the court, they may lose custody of their child. This can be challenging for not only the parent but the child as well. It is crucial that if you are in this situation, you reach out to one of our skilled New York family law attorneys to discuss your child custody options.

What are the different types of child custody in New York?

In New York, there are two types of child custody. A parent may be awarded both types, just one, or none. The two types of custody are as follows:

  • Physical custody: This is where the child will reside most of the time. This parent is also responsible for the child will provide a home, stability, food, clothes, etc. In certain cases, custody can be shared equally by both parents or guardians. Physical custody can be broken up into sole, joint, or shared.
  • Legal custody: When a parent has legal custody, they are able to make important decisions on behalf of the child’s life. These decisions can include academic, social, medical, religious, etc. One or both parents may have legal custody, and a parent does not have to have physical custody to have legal custody.

How is child custody determined?

The court will determine child custody with the child’s best interests in mind always. The court will also look at the following factors:

  • Each party’s ability to provide stability
  • Whether the parent will act in the child’s best interests
  • The relationship between the child and the parent
  • The physical health and safety of the child
  • The needs of the child
  • The location and proximity of each parent’s home
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age

Why might a parent lose custody?

Parents can lose custody for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons our firm has seen include:

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Refusal to co-parent
  • Substance abuse

How can I get custody back?

A court may deem you unfit for any of the above reasons and will thus not grant you custody of your child. Usually, the reason will be something you can address and work on fixing. For example, if you lost custody because of a substance abuse issue, you may be able to take a course to target the issue and prove to the court that you should obtain custody back.

If you have lost custody of your child and would like to get it back, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced family law attorney that can help you target your issue and then help you appeal your child custody arrangement. Our firm is dedicated to helping you and your family.


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.

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