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How does joint custody work in New York?

Joint custody allows divorced parents to share the responsibilities of raising children.

If you are a parent going through a divorce, you might wonder if joint custody is an appropriate choice for your family. To make an informed decision, it is important to review child custody works in the state of New York.

Joint physical custody

In New York, the law distinguishes between physical and legal custody. In joint custody arrangements, children spend equal time staying with both parents. If you have sole custody of your children, they primarily reside with you, but your former spouse may have visitation. In general, noncustodial parents pay child support to the parent with primary physical custody. In some joint custody situations, the parent who earns more might pay child support.

Joint physical custody is a good option if both parents have a respectful relationship and share common parenting goals. However, in cases with hostility, abuse or significant disagreement, joint custody can be difficult to navigate.

Sharing legal custody

Even if one parent has sole physical custody, divorced parents can share legal custody of their children. Retaining legal custody can help you stay involved in children’s lives and contribute to important decisions regarding their education and upbringing. In addition, if you have physical custody, sharing legal custody with your ex-spouse can help your children maintain ties with their noncustodial parent. When you share legal custody, you and your former spouse should be able to discuss and reach a consensus on crucial parenting choices, including religious activities, schooling and medical care.

Custody arrangements can come in many forms. Understanding your options regarding joint physical and legal custody in New York is important.

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