FACTORS CONSIDERED BY THE COURT IN DETERMINING CHILD CUSTODY IN NEW YORK
The New York family court and supreme court must weigh and balance the "totality of the circumstances" in making a custody determination. In deciding what is in the child's best interests, the New York courts are required to consider many factors, which include the following:
How the NY Courts decide what is in a child's best interests?Factors considered by NY Courts in custody cases include the following: * The effect of a separation of siblings; * The wishes of the child, if the child is old enough; * The length of time the present custody arrangement has continued; * Abduction or abandonment of the child or other defiance of legal process by one of the parents;* The relative stability of the respective parents;* The care and affection shown to the child by the parents; * The atmosphere in the homes; * The ability and availability of the parents; * The morality of the parents; * The prospective educational probabilities; * The possible effect of a custodial change on the children; * The financial standing of the parents; and * The parents' past conduct.
Domestic Violence in New York Custody CasesDomestic violence is a factor to be considered by the court in New York child custody and visitation proceedings, regardless of whether the violence occurred in the presence of the child or the child was a direct victim of the violence. Parents involved in bitterly contested divorces often expose children to a violent home environment without realizing the lasting impact such violence can have on children. As a result, children experience shock, fear, and guilt and suffer anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, low self-esteem, and developmental and socialization difficulties
Additional factors considered by NY CourtsAdditional factors that New York courts consider include: * The refusal of a parent to permit visitation and/or the willingness of a parent to encourage visitation; * Unauthorized relocation of the parent and child to a distant domicile; and * Making unfounded accusations of child abuse. A parent's ability to personally devote time to the child and his/her needs is also an important factor.