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Types of Child Custody Arrangements on Long Island

by | Mar 27, 2018 | child custody and support, divorce lawyer long island ny, Family Law Attorney, Family Law Lawyer, News and Events

After many years of practicing as a Family Law attorney on Long Island, I have found that many people do not really understand the distinct types of Child Custody arrangements that are possible or available to them. When deciding child custody arrangements, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of the terminology surrounding this area of law so that you can make the best arrangements for your family.

Physical Versus Legal Custody

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In most states, including New York, there are two main aspects to child custody: Physical Custody and Legal Custody. Physical Custody refers to where the child is, who he or she is living with and who is responsible for the physical care of the child. Physical custody is commonly referred to as Residential Custody. Legal Custody deals with which parent can make certain decisions regarding the child. These decisions include aspects of the child’s health and medical needs, education and religious beliefs.

Sole Versus Joint Child Custody

Both Physical and Legal Custody can be further subdivided into Sole or Joint Physical Custody, and, Sole or Joint Legal Custody. These Child Custody arrangements can either be decided by the parties in a Stipulation of Settlement, or, a Long Island Court can order the appropriate arrangement. In a Joint Physical Custody situation, the child would live with each parent an equal amount of time. Each parent would be equally responsible for the physical care and supervision of the child while enjoying parenting time. Alternatively, a family living under a Sole Physical Custody situation, the child would live with one parent more than 50% of the time. This parent is known as the Residential or Custodial parent. The Noncustodial parent would be entitled to scheduled Visitation with the child. Legal Custody is divided in a similar fashion. If a family is living under a Joint Legal Custody arrangement, both parents are entitled to make major decisions regarding their child. Alternatively, if Sole Legal Custody is applicable, only one parent has the right to make major decisions for the child. It’s also important to remember that the two types of custody do not affect each other. In other words, just because parents are sharing Joint Physical Custody, does not mean they will share Joint Legal Custody, and vice versa. Families can work under many different formulations of the Child Custody arrangements discussed above.

Modifying a Child Custody Arrangement

Under New York State law, either parent can seek a modification of a Child Custody arrangement when there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last court order (or filing of a Stipulation of Settlement). It is within the court’s discretion to decide if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred and, if so, what changes, if any, should be made to the current custody arrangement. This change will take into consideration both the change in circumstances, as well as the best interests of the child.

Questions About Child Custody and Visitation on Long Island?

See this post to learn everything you need to know about Child Custody and Visitation on Long Island.

To learn more about what you need to know about Child Custody on Long Island, visit this page on Child Custody or contact us at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary consultation.

Need Help with Your Child Custody Arrangement? Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you have further questions regarding child custody arrangements, we can help. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation.

Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

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Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.
Sam Berg
Sam Berg
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!



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