If you have children and are facing a divorce, you will need to consider custody of your children and parenting time for each parent. These decisions are personal and it is important to get as much information as possible about the different options.
In New York, there are three basic types of custody:
- Sole Custody: This is where the Mother or the Father has sole decision making about the upbringing and raising of the children. That person will make all the important decisions concerning the child’s life and does not have to consult with the other parent over these decisions.
- Joint Legal Custody, With Residential Custody to One Spouse: This is where the Mother and Father share decision making about the upbringing and raising of the children. However, one spouse will have “residential custody”, which means that the children will primarily reside with that spouse. For purposes of child support, the parent who has residential custody will be the parent who receives child support.
- Joint Legal Custody, With Shared Physical Custody: This is where the Mother and Father share decision making about the upbringing and raising of the children and in addition, they have close to equal time with the children.
Most parents opt for some type of joint legal custody. However, there are several variations of joint legal custody. For example, in some situations, one parent may only need to consult with the other parent prior to making any decision; in other situations, each parent has equal rights to make any decisions and if there is a conflict, a tie-breaking routine is put in place. Therefore, if you agree to a joint legal custody arrangement, you must be sure to define exactly how decisions will be made.
After deciding what type of custody you and your spouse will have, the next decision to make is the parenting time for each parent. There is no “typical” parenting time schedule. Each situation is unique. Your goal should be to create stability for your children and to meet your children’s best interests.
A good way to create a parenting time schedule is to fill in a blank 28 day calendar. In the calendar, you should indicate which parent may have a half-day or is to have the children after-school. An example is presented at the end of this article.
When creating a parenting schedule, it is important to be as specific as possible. For example, do not just say that “Dad gets alternate weekends”. The term “weekend” has no definite meaning, so it needs to be defined (for example “from Friday at 4:00 p.m. until Monday at school”).
You will also need to consider holidays, school days and the summer.
Below is a sample calendar, remember every parenting time schedule is unique.
If you are thinking of getting a divorce in New York, Suffolk County or Nassau County, you need to hire a Divorce Attorney who has the experience to help you. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office have helped numerous individuals with their child custody issues and in obtaining a divorce. Call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Garden City.
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