The guiding principle in determining child custody disputes in New York is “what is in the best interest of the child.”

    When a New York Family Court or Supreme Court judge has the responsibility of determining a child custody dispute there are many factors that a judge will consider in deciding a child custody dispute. Some of those factors are:

Each parent’s ability to provide the child with a secure, nurturing, loving home.
Each parent’s lifestyle, whether each parent works and the hours worked.
Whether a parent or other caregiver will be home with the child.
The age, general health and gender of the child. 
Whether the child has any particular medical, emotional, mental or educational concerns and which parent is better able to provide care for those special concerns.
Whether each parent has any physical, emotional or mental health concerns.
Whether each parent has any history or current concerns with alcohol or drugs.
Whether each parent has a criminal record.
The educational background of each parent.
Each parent’s general lifestyle and residence.
Whether each parent is willing to encourage the child to maintain a healthy, harmonious relationship with the other parent.
The everyday lifestyle of the child at the pre school and school age and the friends and activities of the child.
The education that the child can expect to receive if the child resides with each parent.
Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s basic needs of food, clothing and shelter as well as medical care.
Whether either parent has been involved with prior child abuse or neglect.
Does the child have a preference for residing with one parent and the reasons.

    In complex child custody contests, the judges may require the parents and children to submit to a “forensic” child custody evaluation, often conducted by a licensed psychologist. A report of the “family forensic examination” will be submitted to the judge and can be used at a “contested custody trial” or used to help the parents come to a voluntary agreement regarding child custody.

    Consult With A Lawyer

    As an experienced New York Family Court lawyer who has also served as a Law Guardian for children involving child custody disputes, Jerold S. Slate can help you reach an agreement with your spouse concerning child custody and visitation. If a child custody and visitation agreement cannot be reached, you can be assured and confident that having Jerold S. Slate as your lawyer you will have an experienced child custody lawyer to vigorously and intelligently pursue your legal rights and interests in the courtroom and at all hearings and trials. You can call the Law Office of Jerold S. Slate at (845) 471-4141 to arrange for a personal and confidential consultation. 

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   SeeChild Custody Disputes and Visitation 
Factors That Judges Consider In Determining Child Custody