Just For Dads
Custody & Visitation
Custody & Visitation
Parents can create plans to become or remain involved in their children's lives.
These plans are referred to as Parenting Plans.
Parenting Plans can work out issues known as Custody & Visitation.
Custody means two things:
1. Where the child lives, known as the child’s Residence. The parent (or caretaker/guardian) living in the same home as the child is referred to as the "custodial parent." The parent living apart is referred to as the "non-custodial parent."
2. Decisions about major issues: education; health; religion, and; activities.
What are the common types of Custody?
Where Does the Child Live?
Who Makes Major Decisions?
Residence with one parent
*Non-custodial parent may have rights of consultation on major decisions.
Joint Custody A
Primary Residence with one parent
Joint Custody B
Shared Residence with both parents
Other terms for Visitation schedules are Access and Parenting Time schedules. These terms all refer to the time a child spends with a non-custodial parent.
Weekdays, weekends, vacations, overnights, meals, homework time, holidays, school year and summer schedules should be considered when creating an agreement that best meets a child's needs and interests. Parents should make every effort to create an arrangement that accommodates a child's schedule.
Methods of transportation and communication, as well as specific meeting places and times, are discussed when creating a good parenting time schedule.
What is a good Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan can go into great detail about how parents would like to take care of their children, ensure time with both parents, and best meet their children's medical, emotional, social, educational, spiritual, and other developmental needs.
A good Parenting Plan should be considered fair and workable by both parents.
It's important to know that children can and do adjust to different household rules, parenting styles, and their parents' strengths and challenges - but only when their parents show they are determined to collaborate in the parenting process in a civil manner. "Parallel parenting" is often used to describe a situation in which parents successfully create two stable homes for a child, rather than one broken home.
A thoughtful parenting agreement makes children aware that their parents are being sensitive to their needs and intend to be consistent and caring while living apart. In this way, children are known to better adjust to living the life of a child whose parents live apart, but parent together.
What is Jurisdiction?
Jurisdiction means the type of cases a particular court can process. The legislature gives each court its jurisdiction.
Who has jurisdiction over custody and visitation in New York State?
Supreme Court and Family Court both have jurisdiction over family custody and visitation in New York State. However, the Supreme Court can also grant divorces and distribute marital property. Both courts can decide child and spousal support.
What do the court's base their custody and visitation decisions on?
New York State courts base their decisions in custody issues on what they consider to be the best interest of the children. According to the New York State Unified Court System, the courts may consider the following factors in many cases when deciding who will be the custodial parent:
1. Who has been the primary caregiver?
2. The history of parenting and the need of the child to live in a stable environment.
3. The mental and physical health of everyone in the family.
4. The parenting skills of each parent.
5. The ability of each parent to foster cooperation with the other.
6. Child care and work schedules.
7. Interaction with siblings and other extended family members.
8. The child's wishes (depending on age and maturity).