Families in New York and across the country are faced with a number of problems on a daily basis. For some, these problems include child custody issues. Child custody may be sought for a number of reasons by parents, grandparents, other relatives or — in some cases — family friends. Regardless of who is filing a child custody petition, there are a few ways a final arrangement can be determined.
One of the most common reasons for filing a custody petition is divorce. Figuring out child custody during divorce is often an area of contention between spouses. While there are those couples who can negotiate and agree to a child custody arrangement, there are also those who may require a formal hearing in court before a custody decision is made.
During a custody hearing, a judge will hear from both spouses. Along with testimony offered by parents, a judge may also order an investigation of family circumstances to be performed by social services or a behavioral/mental health specialist. The court will take all acquired information into account before deciding a custody plan that will serve the best interest of the child.
At the end of the day, parents know their children and understand their family circumstances better than anyone else. If at all possible, negotiating a child custody arrangement can result in terms that fit individual family needs. However for those in New York who are unable to come to agreeable terms, custody can be decided by a judge who will do their best to make a decision based on the information provided. Regardless of which path to resolving custody issues is chosen, help in obtaining a desirable custody arrangement is available.
Source: nycourts.gov, “NY City Family Court — Custody & Vis itation FAQs”, Nov. 8, 2014