Under What Conditions Is Sole Custody Granted During a New York Divorce?

parent holding baby wrapped in blanket

When getting divorced or separating from a partner with whom you share a child, it’s essential to understand that the courts will handle custody in the best interest of the child. As such, knowing when sole custody is granted is necessary, especially if you are going through a battle with your ex. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances and when the courts will grant sole custody of a child. Additionally, you’ll learn why you need a Nassau County child custody lawyer to help represent you during these challenging times.

What Is Sole Custody?

It’s important to understand that there are many types of custody to ensure the family dynamic is in the child’s best interest. As such, custody may be split between parents or given only to one parent. Additionally, there is physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to who the child resides with and is in the care of at any time, while legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions on behalf of the child. These decisions include medical treatment, schooling, and religion.

As such, the courts will consider all factors to create a parenting agreement. For example, both parents may have legal custody while one is awarded sole physical custody. In other cases, one parent may be given sole physical and legal custody.

Why Might the Courts Order This?

When it comes to child custody, the courts generally believe it is in the best interest of the child to foster a relationship with both parents. However, there are some circumstances in which it would harm the child to be in the care of a parent. This includes mental, physical, and emotional harm. Generally, sole custody is awarded in cases where one parent:

  • Is neglectful
  • Is abusive
  • Suffers from substance abuse issues
  • Is incarcerated
  • Suffers from extreme mental illness
  • Is moving far away
  • Has abandoned the child

What Should I Do if I’m Seeking Full Custody?

If you have reason to believe that your child would be in harm if left in the custody of their other parent, seeking full custody is in your best interest. However, you’ll need to provide evidence that sole custody of the child is in their best interest. This could include medical records that are consistent with abuse, a police report if you filed one, text messages from the parent, or testimony from neighbors who can corroborate that the other parent would leave the child home alone for long periods.

When you are worried about the health and safety of your child, connecting with an experienced divorce and family law attorney is vital. At Barrows Levy, we understand how devastating it can be to have concerns about your child’s health and safety. That’s why our team will do everything possible to assist you through these complex matters to fight for your child’s best interest. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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