Divorce can be confusing. When children are involved, the process can become even more complicated. At Humble Law Offices, we encourage all our clients to ask questions. Our Jamestown family law attorneys are readily available to answer any questions you might have. Here are three questions about New York child custody that will give you a better understanding of how the law works.
What Is the Difference Between Joint Custody and Sole Custody?
Here is an example of a recent case in which the judge made the decision regarding what type of child custody will be awarded to the parents: The usual situation when people go through divorce is to have joint custody of the children, so both the mother and the father can make decisions as far as school, religion, and medical decisions. In this particular case, the judge felt uncomfortable giving joint custody because the father was actually a California resident who just moved here, and the judge didn’t know if this was temporary and was concerned as a result. He gave the mother full custody and only granted visitation to the father. That’s basically the difference. The father technically will get information as far as education, religion, and medical issues, but he won’t be able to technically make the decisions or make a joint decision if the wife doesn’t want him to.
What Is Shared Custody?
We have many clients come in and what they want is called shared custody, essentially 50/50. If that has been the history, that both the mother and the father have been giving primary care to the children, then that is absolutely what should be continued if possible. We sometimes have clients come in with the misconception that if they step up to the plate and have the children half the time, that they won’t have to go and pay child support; that has absolutely nothing to do with it. Whoever makes more money, bottom line, is going to end up paying child support.
Will a History of Domestic Violence Factor into Custody Decisions?
Accusations of domestic violence and proven records of abuse are serious matters, and the state of New York treats them accordingly. For domestic abuse to factor into child custody arrangements, it must be shown to the court under oath that the violence did in fact occur or that the violence is more likely than not to have occurred. A parent who has engaged in domestic violence against her or his spouse or a child may still be awarded custody, but only if the judge sees that the abuse was extremely limited, and that the child would still benefit from living with that parent. If the abuse has occurred on multiple occasions, the responsible parent may receive supervised visitation at best.
Dedicated Jamestown child custody lawyer Scott F. Humble has over 30 years of experience helping clients defend their rights during child custody battles, and we would be glad to advocate on your behalf. Contact Humble Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation.