How to Get Full Custody in a New York Divorce

Proving sole custody is in the best interests of your children

Very few states are willing to award sole custody to the better of two good parents. New York law presumes that frequent, continuous contact with a parent is in the best interest of a child, until shown otherwise. Therefore, New York courts have come to favor joint custody arrangements, except in cases where one of the parents is unfit, and awarding custody would be to the child’s detriment. If you believe strongly that you should have sole physical or legal custody of your children, you must be prepared to demonstrate that your spouse is unfit. At Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C., we caution our clients to be realistic and not to enter into protracted custody litigation over a difference in parenting styles. But when reasonable grounds exist for fighting a custody battle, we act aggressively to protect your children and we fight to win.

Factors the New York court considers in deciding custody

The court may consider any factor it feels is relevant to the best interests of the children. Common factors in child custody litigation include:

  • Age of parents — Unless there is a significant difference, age is not much of a factor.
  • Alcohol and drug use — DUI arrests, habitual drunkenness and the use of illicit drugs can disqualify a parent for custody.
  • Availability — Parents must be present to supervise children. A demanding career, especially one that requires frequent travel, will likely count against a parent.
  • Disability or poor physical health — A custodial parent must have the energy to perform parental duties.
  • Domestic violence — A parent who has a criminal conviction for domestic violence, or who is the subject of an order of protection, can easily be found unfit for custody.
  • Finances of parents — This is rarely a factor since the court can balance any financial disparity with child support orders.
  • Findings of child neglect or abuse — Substantiated allegations of neglect and abuse are proof of parental unfitness.
  • Home environment — A custodial parent must provide a safe, healthy home for the children.

In disputes over sole physical vs shared custody, it’s not always necessary to litigate in court. In many cases, showing a willingness to litigate can convince your spouse to come to the table and work out a voluntary custody agreement, even if it means awarding you sole custody.

Hire aggressive lawyers who fight custody battles to win. Don't delay. Call now.

Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. has a well-earned reputation for aggressive representation in tough child custody litigation. If you have concerns about your spouse’s reliability as a custodial parent, we can help. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 1.631.479.3839 or contact our office online.