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How New York determines the “best interests of the child”

When you divorce your New York spouse and the two of you share a child, you will undoubtedly need to work through child custody issues and figure out an arrangement that best serves your child’s needs. At Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C., we understand that the court system will consider the “best interests of the child” before making child custody-related decisions, and we have helped many clients navigate these and other family law-related issues.

According to the New York State Unified Court System, courts will consider a range of different factors when working to determine a child’s best interests. While these factors may vary to some extent based on the child’s age, most courts will review the same general areas when making their determinations. A court will, for example, typically consider the ability of each parent or person seeking custody to provide a stable home environment for the child at the center of the proceedings. If, say, one parent is prone to leaving for extended periods of time while the other parent maintains a consistent presence at home, this could factor into child custody decisions.

The court will typically also look at each parent’s mental health and physical condition when determining what type of custody arrangement would be in a child’s best interests. If one parent is, for example, mentally ill, or if one parent has a disability severe enough to potentially impact his or her ability to parent, such circumstances could impact child custody decisions.

Other areas a court may consider when determining a child’s best interests is whether either parent has substance abuse issues, whether each parent has childcare available to him or her during the work day and so on. You can find more about family law by visiting our webpage.

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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
471 Main Street
East Aurora, NY 14052

Phone: 716-243-3515
Fax: 716-652-2058
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