When is Sole Custody Granted in Divorce Cases in New York?

contact us for a Free Consultation
mom with child

In New York, and all states, child custody is decided based on what is in the best interest of the child. Everyone’s goal is to determine what situation will benefit the child most. This will take into account the parent’s ability to take care of the child, mental health, history of violence or substance abuse, work schedules, etc. There are so many factors to consider which can be daunting. If you’re seeking sole custody in New York, a Suffolk County Child Custody Lawyer can help.

What is Sole Custody?

Sole custody is sometimes referred to as full custody. There are two aspects of custody to consider, physical and legal. Sole physical custody refers to when a child lives with one parent full time and may have visits with the other parent. These visits may be supervised or unsupervised. Sole legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make decisions regarding the child. They have full legal authority to make final decisions about where the child goes to school, what religion they’re raised in, any and all medical decisions, and more.

When Should I Seek It?

There are many reasons to seek sole custody of your child after a divorce. All of the reasons circle back to the main goal of keeping your child healthy and happy. Some common reasons for pursuing sole custody consist of the other parent having a history of:

  • Substance abuse: Giving custody to a parent who is known to abuse drugs and alcohol is a danger for the child as the parent will be unable to care for them and potentially expose them to the dangerous substances
  • Mental illness: In the unfortunate event that a parent has a mental illness that results in instability and erratic behavior, it could be dangerous to grant them custody.
  • Abuse: If a parent has previously abused the child physically, sexually, or mentally, the child may be in danger of them committing the same acts again.
  • Neglect: If a parent has neglected to get the child medical help, food, supervision, clothing, shelter, etc. in the past then they may continue to neglect the child in the future.
  • Relocation/Incarceration: You may choose to petition for sole custody if a parent is moving to a different state or country, or if they are incarcerated.

Many courts believe that it is in the best interest of the child to have a relationship with both of their parents, so they will likely favor a joint custody arrangement. However, there are instances where joint custody is not possible or not beneficial for the child. You should seek sole custody of your child if and when the above circumstances are true and threaten the well-being of your child.

Our Recent Blogs

What if I Can’t Afford to Pay Child Support?

Child support payments are important for a separated couple to agree on for the benefit of their child. The money from child support can…
Read More

How Does Substance Abuse Affect Divorce Proceedings?

Addiction is an unkind disease. The use of drugs and alcohol can negatively affect a marriage and family in many ways. When one spouse’s…
Read More