New York Family Law and Mediation Attorney
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New York Child Custody and Visitation Attorney

Custody and Visitation

In New York, child custody has two major components. One is residential custody, which refers to where and with which parent the child resides. The other is legal custody, which refers to the legal decision-making relationship that the parents have over decisions for the child. 


When determining the custody of the child, there are "no absolutes" for the Court to consider (Friederwitzer v. Friederwitzer, 55 N.Y.2d 89 (1982)) and the Court must look at the "totality of the circumstances" and must determine what is in the "best interests of the child". (Eschbach v. Eschbach, 56 N.Y.2d 167 (1982)).

To determine the best interests of the child, the Court should consider the following:

  • the quality of the home environment
  • the parental guidance provided by the custodial parent
  • the parties' financial status and the ability of the parties to provide for the child
  • the ability of the parties to provide for the child's emotional and intellectual development.


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