BECAUSE YOU DESERVE THE BEST
If you are going through a divorce and have children then the likelihood is that there are two (2) issues that preoccupy your mind more than any other: 1) who will your children live with?; and 2) which parent will be making the major decisions for them after the divorce is over?
Before you ask these questions, you first have to have a general understanding of what "custody" is.
Legal custody will determine who gets to make the final decision regarding the major issues that arise in your children's lives. Legal custody primarily focuses on major decisions related to educational, medical, religious and extracurricular activities.
There are a number of options for parties when they are going through a divorce as it pertains to Legal Custody:
- Joint Legal Custody: each party stands on equal footing with regard to making decisions for the child(ren). There are either tiebreakers built into the stipulation of settlement that will assist the parties with making the final decision if they are at odds, or each parent can have final say over two (2) major areas while the other parent makes the final decision regarding the other two (2) areas.
For example: In a case where one spouse is a physician and the other spouse is a teacher, if the parties agree, it may make sense to have the party who is a physician have final decision-making with regard to Medical decisions, while the party who is a teacher may be better suited to make the final Educational determinations.
However, it is important to note that the parties MUST be able to communicate effectively in order to have a joint legal custody arrangement.
- Sole Legal Custody: is a situation when one party is authorized by stipulation or court order to make all of the major decisions on behalf of the parties child(ren).
This is typically utilized when the parties are unable to communicate effectively and/or settle the matter prior to trial. In fact, there is ample caselaw to suggest that if parties cannot settle custody among themselves prior to trial, joint legal custody would not be a suitable arrangement for the parties or their child(ren) and the Court would have little choice but to award one party or the other "sole" legal custody.
In the simplest of terms, residential custody denotes where the child(ren) lives a majority of their time. However, in situations where the children split their time equally between both parents (50/50), one of the parents (in that case the parent who earns less money) shall be determined to be the "residential parent" for the purposes of child support.
Tying It All Together
Legal and residential custody can be linked or viewed separately. There can be a situation where The parties have Joint Legal Custody while one parent has primary residential custody or a situation where one party has Sole Legal Custody while the other parent has residential custody (less typical, but possible).
Our office has seen hundreds of custody cases. We have the patience to settle them when appropriate and the ability to try them successfully when necessary. If you are fighting for your child, we are the firm for you.
This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with EZ Divorce NY through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.
The organization maintaining this website cannot promise an exact amount of time it will take for your divorce to be finalized, as same is based on the county in which you live and the Judge that is assigned to review and sign your final divorce documents
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