Westchester County Child Custody Lawyer | Types of Child Custody in New York

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Various Types of Child Custody in Westchester, NY

When you are involved in any matter that involves child custody, it is important to understand the different types and terms that are generally seen in child custody hearings.

Since child custody varies from state to state and every case has its own set of facts, it is helpful to understand the different types of child custody and the general scenarios that couples going through a divorce will encounter in Westchester County, NY. Having a Westchester County child custody lawyer familiar with these possible outcomes and terms will be make your experience in the courthouse easier and prove beneficial at your child custody hearing.

Physical Custody

Physical custody, or also known as residential custody, refers to where a child will physically reside. The parent with whom the child primarily resides (the majority of the time) will have residential or physical custody. For example, if the child is with the mother 55% of the time, then the mother will have physical custody of that child.

There are countless different ways to structure physical or residential custody agreements, but the primary goal is to structure an agreement that serves the best interests of the child. This could mean that custody is divided evenly or it could mean that one parent has the majority of physical custody. Again, every case will be dictated by the facts and specific circumstances involved.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is the term typically used in the Westchester Court to denote which parent will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of the child. This will include important decisions such as medical, religious or educational conclusions that play important roles in the lives of children.

Just like physical or residential custody, legal custody may be structured to satisfy any particular situation.

The Right to Consultation

Even if your ex-spouse or other parent has sole custody of your child it is important for you to know that you still have the right to consultation in Westchester County, NY. Having the right to consultation means being informed as to the major decisions in your child's life. Staying informed is imperative for you because if you do not agree with a decision being made regarding your child, you then have the right to petition the Westchester Family Court and challenge that decision.

Many people do not know that they have the right to consultation, until it is too late. So it is important to note that even if you do not have custody you still have the right to stay informed and consulted about important decisions that concern your child.

Other Items that Influence Child Custody in Westchester, NY

Sometimes there are things other than the child's "best interests" that effect child custody:


Where you live may also play a huge role in your custody arrangement. Say you live 50 miles from your ex-spouse then the court will have to take this physical distance into consideration in fashioning custody and visitation.


Your job may also play a big part in the court deciding your child custody arrangement. Work hours and days of employment may cause your child custody arrangement be modified to fit your schedule. This may jeopardize the time you get to spend with your child.


The age of your child will also play a part in regards to your physical or residential custody arrangement. Again the purpose in a physical or residential custody arrangement is to create the best situation for the child. The child's wants and needs should always be at the center of any physical or residential arrangement.

Hiring a Proven Westchester Divorce and Family Law Attorney is Important

Dealing with the stress of a divorce or child custody case may make it difficult to make the decisions that will best protect your parental rights. This is a critical period when any decision will shape and impact the lives of both you and your children. Do not make these crucial decisions alone. Contact the Westchester family law lawyers of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP for a free consultation. We will discuss your options and help you get the results that you want.

Call (914) 840-5104.