Breaking up a family because of a divorce can be hard on parents and hard on kids. New Yorkers may look for ways to minimize the impacts of divorce on their children, but often it is hard to completely prevent children from experiencing challenges as their family transitions. During a divorce a parent’s commitment to their children’s custodial needs is imperative to helping their children move into the future.

Child custody involves two important sets of rights: physical rights that dictate who will have the child in their care and when, and legal rights to control how one’s children are raised. Parents can share both forms of custody or both forms may be granted exclusively to one parent. Sometimes one parent will have sole physical custody of their kids while the other has visitation rights, but both parents will share legal custody over their children.

How a family decides to split up their child custody responsibilities will depend on many considerations and when parents cannot work out their own custodial negotiations their divorce court may intervene. When it comes to child custody and other matters that concern children, courts look to protect the child’s best interests when they make judicial determinations.

A parent who has physical custody of their child may have that child live with them at least some of the time. A parent who has legal custody of their child may be involved in making important decisions about how their child is raised. Case-specific questions about child custody and other related family law matters can be addressed by family law and divorce attorneys.