Before a New York judge makes decisions about parenting time or child custody, he or she often considers a similar set of factors to assess what situation would be most ideal for the child. As someone involved in a child custody or visitation case, familiarizing yourself with these factors may help you develop a better understanding of what you may need to do to achieve a successful outcome. 

What areas and factors do New York judges consider before making child custody or visitation-related decisions? 

Determining factors 

A court often considers which parent has been the child’s primary caregiver up until this point before making any determinations. If you have been your son or daughter’s main caregiver while the child’s other parent has done far less, this may boost your chances of receiving custody or visitation rights. 

If your child is at an appropriate age, his or her own wishes about where to live may also come into play. Many child psychologists support allowing a child who is old enough to express his or her wishes with regard to custody and parenting time. Whether your son or daughter has existing relationships with siblings, and who those siblings live with, may also factor into any custody or visitation decisions. 

Other determining factors courts may consider include the mental and physical health of you and other parties seeking custody or visitation. The parenting abilities of everyone involved may also undergo close review. If the child has special needs, each parent’s ability to provide for them may also help determine custodial or visitation arrangements. So, too, may any work schedules or child care arrangements you or your child’s other parent currently have. 

Additional considerations 

New York courts also take into account whether either party seeking custody or visitation has a history of domestic violence. Each parent’s willingness to nurture the child’s relationship with the other parent, provided doing so would be safe and appropriate, may also be determining factors. 

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