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Legal and physical custody issues concern New York families

Working toward a child custody arrangement isn't always an easy thing to do. Parents simply want to make the best decisions for their children, but figuring out what is best can certainly be difficult. Part of this decision making process will force divorcing parents in New York to choose what level of custody each is granted for both the legal and physical custody concerns of their children.

Legal custody will give a parent the right to make decisions for their child. This right can be granted to one parent, known as sole legal custody, or both parents under a joint legal custody arrangement. If needed, joint legal custody can assign specific areas in which each parent is responsible for making decisions, such as medical or educational issues.

When it comes to deciding who a child will live with, there are two types of physical custody agreements that are generally considered. Sole physical custody would grant the children to one parent. Visitation rights may be given to the other, but the primary caregiver is responsible for the daily care of the child. Shared physical custody allows each parent to take an active role in raising the children. The exact amount of time spent with each parent would need to be negotiated or otherwise determined by the court, but the role of a shared custody plan is to allow children frequent contact with both of their parents.

Divorce is hard on the entire family unit. Divorcing couples in New York who have children have a lot to consider when looking at the legal and physical custody options before them. While these decisions aren't always easy to make, custody agreements that fit every family's specific needs can be arranged.

Source: womenslaw.org, "Custody", , Sept. 22, 2014

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