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Joint Custody Vs. Shared Custody in New York

Posted on September 5, 2022

Child custody can be confusing, and for a good reason. The states, including New York, use different terms to describe parents’ legal rights and responsibilities to their children. Parents must know and understand the terms used in their state to avoid making child custody mistakes that could affect their families now and in the future.

Joint custody is not the same nor an alternative to shared custody in New York. The following is a brief overview of child custody choices in New York and how they may affect you as a parent. For more information, contact an experienced New York child custody attorney.

Child Custody in New York

Child custody in New York refers to the legal responsibility to care for a child. There are two types of child custody in the state. These are legal and physical child custody.

Parents may hold sole or joint legal custody in New York. A parent with legal custody may make any significant decisions in a child’s life, including but not limited to:

  • Schooling;
  • Religion;
  • Medical care; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

A parent without legal custody cannot make the above decisions but still has the right to receive information about them. Parents with joint legal custody must communicate and cooperate effectively to maintain their joint status.

Legal custody has no bearing on physical custody. Physical child custody describes where a child primarily resides. A parent with physical custody is responsible for a child’s daily activities.

Parents with joint physical custody each have a child half of the time. A parent with sole physical custody is the custodial parent and has a child more than 50% of the time. The other parent is the noncustodial parent and receives visitation.

Joint Custody in New York

In New York, joint legal custody is typically referred to as joint custody. This excludes physical custody. While some courts favor joint custody orders, New York prefers awarding joint custody only when parents agree.

Parents who can communicate openly and work together to rear a child are best suitable for a joint custody arrangement. It is also helpful when parents agree on parenting styles and goals for a child.

Shared Custody in New York

Shared custody is not a stand-alone type of child custody in New York. However, many parents confuse joint custody with shared custody. In joint custody situations, parents must share major decision-making power.

Instead, parents may choose to allocate major decisions to one another. For example, one parent may make all school decisions, with the other parent making all choices about medical care. The parents may choose to remain joint decision-makers for other issues.

Contact an Experienced New York Child Custody Attorney Today

Your children are the most important part of your life. When choosing a child custody attorney, find an experienced New York firm that focuses on family law. The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., can offer you realistic and honest child custody advice and practical solutions tailored to fit your family.

Attorney Stark has decades of experience and can answer your most complex child custody questions. Do not wait to make your appointment. Get a firm grip on your custody case now.

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