Divorce severs the legal relationship between two married people, but the children they share continue to be recognized as the offspring of both of their parents after the divorce is finalized. Though some New York divorcing couples may find in the wake of their ending marriages the ability to equally share the custody and parenting time of their kids, for many individuals, such arrangements are unworkable and difficult to manage.
In New York, it is more often the case that one parent will have a greater share of custodial time of the kids than the other parent. Such an unbalanced arrangement can result from a court’s consideration of a number of factors, including but not limited to the schedules of the family members, the capacities of the parents to provide care to the children and the wishes of the kids themselves.
Ultimately, family courts in New York seek to serve the best interests of the children who appear in their chambers. If the children’s best interests are best served by spending equal shares of time with each parent that may be how the court establishes their custody schedule. If, however, the frequent traveling between the homes of their parents proves disruptive to the children’s lives, then their custody schedules may reflect a more off balance plan.
In sum, a family’s child custody schedule will reflect the unique nuances of the individuals subject to the court’s decision-making power. Both legal and physical custody can be shared, but it is not uncommon for one parent to receive the right to either or both of these responsibilities in a sole capacity. While the information provided in this post may serve as a good starting point for readers with questions about this issue, it is not presented as legal guidance or advice. Please consider consulting with a legal professional about specific custody questions.