New York Family Law Attorney Serving Clients with Child Custody Cases

When you are going through a divorce and have children from the marriage, you will need to learn more about how child custody is awarded in Otsego County. Child custody cases can be extremely complicated and contentious, and it is important to have an experienced Otsego County child custody lawyer on your side to ensure that your voice is heard in these proceedings. In the most general terms, the court makes its decisions about child custody based on what is in the child’s best interests.

If you need help with your child custody case, you should reach out to The Colwell Law Group, LLC as soon as possible.


Types of Custody in Otsego County

Under New York law, there are two types of child custody:

  • Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as the child’s religious upbringing, education, or medical care. Legal custody does not have any bearing on physical custody, or with whom the child lives. Instead, a parent with legal custody plays a significant role in decision-making processes concerning the child’s upbringing.
  • Physical Custody: Physical custody, or “residential custody,” refers to the parent with whom the child lives. This parent (or parents) has the right to make decisions about the child’s daily well-being, and must provide physical care and supervision for the child. When parents share physical custody equally, it means they both have the child for approximately 50 percent of the time. When one parent is awarded a larger percentage of physical custody, then that parent is known as the custodial parent, and the other parent is known as the noncustodial parent. In a situation with a custodial and a noncustodial parent, the time the child spends with the noncustodial parent is known as “visitation.”

How Custody Can Be Awarded in Otsego County, NY

When a court makes orders for child custody, it can do any of the following:

  • Joint legal and physical custody (shared between the parents);
  • Joint legal custody and sole physical custody with visitation;
  • Joint physical custody and sole legal custody;
  • Sole legal custody and sole physical custody; or
  • Sole legal custody and sole physical custody with no visitation.

The court’s decision is based on a number of different factors that concern the child’s best interests.

How Does a Court in Otsego County Decide Child Custody?

As we mentioned, child custody is determined on the standard of “best interest of the child.” There is no clear-cut rule for determining the best interest of the child, and instead the court looks at a number of different factors and makes decisions on a case-by-case basis. Those factors can include but are not limited to:

  • Which parent primarily has been providing care for the child;
  • Parenting skills of each of the parents;
  • Parents’ mental and physical health;
  • Child’s relationship with siblings and other family members;
  • Child’s preference (if the child is of sufficient age);
  • Parents; ability to cooperate with one another; and
  • Domestic violence history.

Discuss Your Case with an Otsego County Child Custody Attorney

Are you going through a child custody case? A child custody attorney in Otsego County can help. Contact The Colwell Law Group, LLC today.

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