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Determining Sole legal Custody

New York, NY |

My son’s mother and I cannot come to an agreement with anything having to deal with my son . We have an open custody case and I know for a fact things won’t get better. I want to request sole legal custody. Is simply not being able to agree on major things, like which school he attends enough to grant one parent sole legal? How is Sole legal custody determined in court? I already have Temporary Residential Custody.

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Attorney answers 4


There are a host of factors, not all relevant to one's given case: these include accusations made about the other parent ability of a parent to be with child; does the custodial parent have employment outside the home, the health of the child, the relative financial position of each parent, religious issues, interference with child's contact with other parent, the wishes of child depending on its age, an interview of child by court, issues of mental illness or physical problems of the parents, abuse of drugs/alcohol, or other bad habits, criminal history and actions, past abandonment or endangerment of the child, abusiveness to the other parent or child (domestic violence). This is why you need to speak at length with your Family Court attorney to identify which factors exist, what weight it seems likely the court will give to each that exists, and what is the best way to present your case for success. So if you don't have someone on board, don't waste any more time.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.


I agree with the list of factors laid out by Mr Caviglia. The Court considers many different factors, and if the child is already with you at the beginning of the case, that's also a factor the court will consider. But because this is a complicated analysis, you're best advised to schedule a sit-down consultation with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment of your case.

* If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.


I agree with my colleagues. There are so many factors and each could be given more or less weight, depending on the judge and the circumstances. An experienced attorney could properly present your case.


Courts lean toward joint custody. The specific circumstances of your case must be reviewed by an attorney. I suggest you consult with a divorce lawyer. Take note, custody battles get very expensive very fast. It is worth trying to get along for the sake of your child.

Anne Peyton Bryant, Esq.
305 Broadway, 14th Fl
New York,NY 10007

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