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Are there different types of child custody in New York?

Parents in the middle of divorce proceedings already have a lot of emotional baggage to sort through, and child custody issues only worsen the situation for many. Most people do not believe they will ever face a divorce when they first get married and have never given the matter of child custody any real thought. Further, most of these couples assume there exists only one kind of child custody and that they have no other options for how to divide their time with their children.

Fortunately, New York, like the other states, provides divorcing parents with several options for child custody in the hopes that parents can work out these details in a fair and equitable manner on their own. If they cannot do so, the court will step in and make the custody arrangements instead. At this time, the available custody options include:

-- Joint custody, which involves parents sharing the custody equally-- Sole custody in which one parent or the other gains custody of the children-- Legal custody, which is assigning one parent to make the important decisions in a child's life-- Physical custody, which simply means that the children reside with one parent

Each type of child custody has its merits and parents should make every effort to resolve any custody disputes they may have outside of the courtroom, often with help from a divorce attorney. Other related issues divorcing couples may face include defining visitation schedules and resolving parental relocation disputes.

The takeaway here is that New York courts always rule in the best interests of the children, but actively support couples who step up and take responsibility. As with other divorce issues, the legal system works to provide parents with the best resolutions to fully support children of divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "New York Child Custody Laws" accessed Feb. 25, 2015

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