Child Custody & Visitation Defined

Child Custody is the authority by one or both of the parents to make major decisions about a child’s care, including education, medical care and religious issues.

  • Essentially there are two types of child custody in New York State.
    • Sole Custody means that one parent has custody of the child and the authority to make all decisions about the child.
    • Joint Custody means that the two parents share the authority to make decisions about the child.  In this case, the parents are required to communicate with each other and to keep each other informed of the child’s needs and to make decisions together.  In New York joint custody has become quite common. In most cases today, the court wants the child to have a good relationship with both parents.

A Child Visitation schedule should:

  • Define where the child will live and when the child will spend time with each of the parents.
  • Provide the child with as much stability as possible and to ensure that the child gets frequent contact with both parents.
  • Consider the needs of the child and the parents executing the schedule based their availability.
  • Give the child a good amount of time with each parent.

Every Child Custody case in the State of New York is quite different and is treated as such. The same can be said of a Child's Visitation schedule.  The visitation schedule should reflect each child's different needs, situations, and issues.