Attorneys Advise on Sole vs. Shared Child Custody in NY Divorce

Helping parents strike a balance of rights and responsibilities in their children’s interests

New York law says the courts must make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child, but judges generally rule without ever getting to know the children in question. They rely on witness testimony, reports from forensic psychologists and only rarely speak directly to the children. In short, your opinion of what’s best for your child is probably much more reliable than the judge’s. At Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C., we believe that your well-informed view must be respected and fully considered, so we fight aggressively to give you a strong voice in child custody deliberations. But, we want our clients to have a realistic view of child custody rights and responsibilities, so they can choose the best option for themselves and their children.

What’s best for you and your child: sole versus joint custody

There are two types of custody, physical (residential) and legal (decision making), and each of these can be sole or joint (shared). This allows for the following combinations:

  • Sole physical and sole legal — This is an extreme case where one parent gets complete custody and the other parent is limited to visitation. This arrangement is only justified when one parent is unfit, and cannot be trusted caring for the child or making decisions on the child’s health and welfare. In the worst cases, the court may restrict or prohibit the noncustodial parent’s visitation and even terminate parental rights.
  • Sole physical and joint legal — This arrangement is appropriate where the noncustodial parent cannot provide an adequate residence for the child or cannot exercise caretaker responsibilities. However, this parent is mature and responsible, and can participate in decisions for the child’s upbringing.
  • Joint physical and joint legal — Under the law, this should be the court’s default position when both parents are capable of providing a residence and proper supervision for the child. However, the reality is that fathers often have to fight bitter custody battles simply to achieve equal standing as parents.

At Salamone & Associates, we help our clients reflect objectively on their circumstances — their finances, their lifestyles, their children’s needs, their own and their spouse’s parenting abilities, as well as other factors — to set reasonable goals for custody. We often try negotiations and mediation first, because reaching a child custody settlement allows the parents to set rules that fit their circumstances, rather than leaving the decision in the hands of the judge.

However, when a trial is necessary to protect your rights, we fight aggressively and capably. We have a fine track record of winning custody cases against long odds, even when opposing parties viciously attacked our clients’ character to claim an unfair advantage. When you decide to fight to preserve your relationship with your children, our firm stands with you and we fight to win.

Hire an aggressive divorce lawyer who wins tough custody battles. Don't wait. Call now.

Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. has an impressive track record in custody battles, even when the odds are stacked against our client. If you anticipate a tough fight over custody, we can help. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 1.631.479.3839 or contact our office online.