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Parenting Plans and Child Custody Arrangements in NY│ Heidi Opinsky Law

What you need to know about child custody and what to include in a parenting plan

With over 12 million custodial parents in the United States, many parents have had to go through the struggle of splitting up and deciding who will get to spend more time with the children. (1) In most cases, the court tries to ensure that children get to spend a fair amount of time with both parents and that both parents remain an active part of their life. However, in cases where they fear abuse or deem it in the best interest of the child, one parent may be given more time with the children.

Both parents are required by the law to come up with a fair parenting plan that they can execute. if they can not come to a decision on their own, a judge will make one for them.

How is Custody Determined in New York?

In New York, child custody is determined based on what is in the best interest of the child. There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as education, religion, and healthcare. Physical custody refers to where the child will live and who will provide for their day-to-day needs.

When parents cannot agree on custody, a judge will make a determination based on several factors, including:

  • The child’s needs and age
  • The parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, both financially and emotionally
  • The mental and physical health of both parents
  • The child’s relationship with each parent and any siblings or other family members
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse

The court may also consider the child’s preferences, but only if they are deemed old enough and mature enough to express a reasonable preference.

In general, New York courts prefer to award joint legal custody to both parents, unless there is evidence that it would not be in the best interests of the child. Physical custody may be shared between parents, or one parent may be awarded primary physical custody while the other parent is granted visitation rights.

Ultimately, the court’s decision will be based on what is in the best interest of the child.

What Should be in a New York Parenting Plan?

In New York, a parenting plan is a written agreement that outlines the terms of child custody and visitation. It’s typically created by the parents, with or without the assistance of an attorney or mediator, and must be approved by the court. 

Here are some of the important factors  that should be included in a New York parenting plan:

  • A schedule for custody and visitation: This should include a regular schedule for when the child will spend time with each parent, as well as a holiday and vacation schedule.
  • A method for resolving disputes: The parenting plan should include a process for resolving disputes between the parents, such as through mediation or through the court system.
  • A plan for communication: The plan should outline how the parents will communicate with each other about the child’s needs and activities, including phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings.
  • Information about transportation: The plan should include information about how the child will be transported between the parents’ homes, as well as who will be responsible for transportation.
  • A plan for decision-making: The plan should specify how important decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and other needs will be made.
  • Information about child support: The plan should include information about how child support will be paid and how it will be used.
  • A plan for relocation: If one parent plans to move, the plan should include information about how this will affect the custody and visitation schedule.

It’s important to note that every parenting plan will be unique and should be tailored to the specific needs of the child and the parents involved. If you need help creating a parenting plan, it’s recommended that you consult with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.

It’s always better to execute legal matters with the help of a legal professional so you reduce your risk of making any serious mistakes. 

Connect with Heidi Opinsky, Divorce Lawyer in NY Today to Create a Fair Parenting Plan

Connect with a divorce lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to get proper legal advice regarding your divorce, and to create a fair and effective parenting plan.

Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible.