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How will a judge decide child custody?

New York State courts consider the best interests of the children when making any decisions regarding child custody and visitation. Judges may consider any and all of the following:

  • The child/children’s primary caretaker up until now
  • The home environment of each spouse/parent
  • The “fitness” of each parent to be a stable caregiver (home life, lifestyle, judgment, employment, mental health, physical health, etc.)
  • Current and length of residence of the child/children
  • Ability of the parent to provide the child with intellectual and emotional support
  • Proven ability to provide the other parent with access to the child. In other words, does the parent try to keep the other parent out of the child’s life.
  • The desires of the child
  • Separation from the child’s brothers and sisters, if any
  • Any patterns of child abuse by either parent
  • Any history of domestic violence issues

Posted in: Common Child Custody & Support Questions