In New York, there are two primary types of child custody:
Legal Custody – When a parent has legal custody of a child, they are responsible for making the important decisions in the child’s life. These decisions include matters of education, religious upbringing, and medical care.
Physical Custody – This refers to who the child physically lives with.
How can I petition for custody?
In New York, a petition for child custody can be filed by any individual who has an interest in the child’s well-being and who has some connection or relationship with the child. This includes parents, grandparents, or any other member of the child’s family. Once a petition has been filed, the petition must be personally served to the one or more parties who currently have custody of the child.
If all parties involved are in agreement about the custody petition, the judge might take testimony from both parties and then enter an order of custody on consent, without ever proceeding to a formal hearing.
In some cases, all parties may not agree on child custody. More often than not, the party who is served with the custody petition believes they have a claim against the party that filed the original petition, and they file a cross-petition. This can cause disagreements and lead to a very challenging time.
If you are currently involved in a New York child custody dispute, you need an attorney who will be an aggressive advocate and a compassionate and understanding legal counselor as you go through this difficult time. The attorneys at Kommer Bave & Ollman LLP understand the situation you are in and we know how to help. Call us now or contact us online.