Regaining Child Custody in New York | What to Know

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Losing custody of a child can be incredibly difficult for both the parent and child. If you have lost custody, you are likely wondering if and how you can get it back. Read on to learn more about regaining child custody in New York.

What are the different types of custody in New York?

It is important to understand the different custody options in New York:

  • Physical custody: This type of custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child will reside most of the time. This parent is mainly responsible for providing basic necessities like 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.

Why do parents lose custody?

In rare cases, a parent may lose custody. For the most part, New York courts believe that a child benefits greatly from having some form of relationship with both parents. But, if a parent is deemed unfit, the fit parent will be awarded what is called sole custody. Some reasons a parent may lose custody include:

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

Even if a parent has lost he or she will likely be awarded some type of visitation rights.

Can I regain custody if I have lost it?

If you have lost custody of your child, there is a reason for it. Generally, this 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, it is important to reach out to a family law attorney. An attorney can help you fight to regain custody.

Our firm understands the importance of your relationship with your child. Reach out today to discuss your case with a dedicated and experienced family law attorney.


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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