How Does A New York Court Determine The Best Interests Of A Child For Custody?

During a court proceeding involving child custody, the New York court is most concerned in the best interest of the child, which comprises numerous factors. That means the court will evaluate numerous factors to determine the ability of both parents to meet the needs of the child.

It is rare for one factor to determine custody, but rather numerous factors. These factors can include:

  1. Child care arrangements

When considering the best interest of the child, the court might prioritize the parents that have better child care arrangements over the other. If you have a better child care arrangement, you’re most likely to win custody.

  1. Primary caretaker

During a custody battle, priority will be given to the parent that has the primary caretaker before the divorce. For instance, the parents who are always at home taking care of the child and other activities involving the child are most likely to win custody.

  1. Drug and alcohol

A parent with substance abuse issues is less likely to win custody. The court, when seeking for the best interest of the child, doesn’t want the child to grow in such an abusive environment. If you have such a problem, quitting and regularly attending meetings might play in your favor.

  1. Mental health

If you have a history of depression, PTSD, personality disorders, or emotional instability, the court is less likely to award you custody. The reason is evident, as mentally ill parents are unable to adequately care for the needs of a child.

  1. Spousal abuse

If there was evidence that one parent committed domestic violence against the other in the presence of the child, it affects who receives custody at the end of the day. No matter what your spouse does, restraining yourself will play in your favor in the heat of the moment. Sometimes, it’s a trap to sabotage your personality to win custody.

  1. Child’s preference

The child’s preference is also taken into consideration especially when other factors have been evaluated. However, the weight of the child’s preference depends on the child’s age. Also, the court will look closely to know why a child chose a parent over another.

  1. Finance of each parent

The New York court will also consider the finance of both parents, and prioritize the parents that can provide financially for the child. For example, not being able to afford housing, health insurance, and schooling can negatively impact custody.

When it comes to child custody, a lot of factors come into play to determine who wins custody. If you’re currently going through this phase, it is best to work with a licensed and experienced attorney. 

We’ve been in the system for years, and our attorney will work to protect your best interest. Go ahead and give us a call or fill out our contact form.