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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.

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Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.
Steven Frierman
Steven Frierman
02:25 07 Mar 20
After meeting with 3 different lawyers, we felt Robert understood us best and he genuinely had our best interests at heart. This helped us resolve a few minor issues in a timely fashion and make a potentially stressful situation go more smoothly.Thank you
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!
Rob Spielmann
Rob Spielmann
22:15 27 Feb 20
They made our process so easy. They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up. Very friendly


  • 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!
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