While divorce rates for couples over 50 are the greatest, according to NY Daily News, plenty of young couples with children are getting divorced every day as well. When a couple who has a child goes through separation or divorce, the most painful legal aspect of their separation is child custody. The tempers and emotions of both parties can get out of control at times, as each realizes that they may no longer have the same role in their child’s or children’s lives in the future. However, it is important to keep a calm, rational demeanor throughout child custody. By working with an attorney, you can be guided through this process and help to prove to the court where the child’s best interests truly lie. When the court chooses between two parents, it strives to make the decision in favor of the child’s well being. These criteria are outlined below:

What is in the Child’s Best Interest?

The court has tremendous power to shape the rest of your and your child’s life. But what does the court look at when choosing one parent over the other to provide sole custody, or when deciding whether joint custody is appropriate? The New York court system analyzes the following information to help make the decision in the child’s best interests:

  • Mental and physical health of each parent;
  • Potential criminal history, domestic violence history, or child abuse history of each parent;
  • Proximity of each parent’s home to high quality schools;
  • Relationships with other relatives in each home;
  • Parenting skills and weakness of each parent;
  • Work schedules of each parent;
  • Proximity of grandparents or other potential caregivers to each parent’s home;
  • Ability of each parent to provide food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and other essentials;
  • Whether the child had a primary caregiver before;
  • Who is best able to provide for any special needs of the child;
  • Willingness of each parent to cooperate in court; and
  • The child’s preference, depending on the situation.


Types of Custody

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There are various types of custody, which include the following:

  • Physical Custody: The child lives with the parent who has physical custody;
  • Joint Physical Custody: The child lives with both parents, who split the time the child lives with each;
  • Legal Custody: Legal custody allows for the parent to make legal decisions for the child, such as where they live, healthcare, and education;
  • Joint Legal Custody: Both parents can make legal decisions regarding their child; and
  • Sole Custody: One parent has sole legal and physical custody of the child.

A parent who does not have custody of their child may be allowed visitation rights, which are court-approved visits that the other parent cannot stop from happening. If one parent refuses to allow these legal visitations to occur, their own custody rights may be jeopardized.

Call the Colwell Group Today

Contact the Saratoga child custody lawyers at the Colwell Law Group, LLC to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced child custody attorneys in ouroffice in Ballston Spa, NY. We strive to provide the highest level of assistance to our clients and ensure that they have everything available to them to ensure that their day in court is as successful as possible.

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