Perhaps a definition on terms is warranted to answer your query. From my end, "legal" custody and "primary physical custody" mean the same thing. Thus, a Judge would not award 1 parent legal custody & the other parent physical custody as it would be contradictory. If "legal" custody is otherwise defined to mean "decision-making authority," however, I can say it would be very rare indeed for a Judge to award primary physical custody to one parent, while vesting decision-making authority to the non-custodial parent. Schedule a consultation with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.
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When parents do not get along, Courts do not grant joint decisionmaking as there is not a basis on which the parties could share and exchange ideas. Thus, under those circumstances, and, where, as here, a forensic expert is recommending one parent for sole legal and physical custody, the Court is unlikely to grant one parent decisionmaking and, the other, residential custody.
What you describe never happens. It is not within the power of the Court to allow.
I am an attorney with over a decade of experience in Matrimonial and Family Law with offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I have experience in all five boroughs as well is Nassau and Suffolk County. The opinion expressed in this ad based upon the limited information provided and do not indicate an attorney-client relationship