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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 116252
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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Can I get joint legal custody in New York? Can I get joint

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Can I get joint legal custody in New York? Can I get joint physical custody?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you again.

Your question seems fairly short and simple, so forgive me if my answer seems simple as well and you can ask any specific follow up questions you might have, as you likely know.

Yes, the NY courts whenever possible prefer shared custody, which is joint legal/physical custody over a child where parents share physical custody time with the child. In order for the courts to do this, they must be satisfied that the parents will be able to work together towards the best interests of the child. If the courts do not find that the best interests of the child will be served by shared custody, they would name one parent primary physical custodian and then have joint legal custody where both parents are responsible for legal determinations involving the child.

At two years old, sometimes you face prejudice of many judges who believe that young children belong with the mother, but the law itself does not prevent you from having joint physical/legal custody over the child at all and as long as you can prove you and the other parent can work together concerning the child, the court would grant such custody.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if I am willing to cooperate and work together but the mother is not? Why should she get custody then?

Thank you for your response.

If she is the one who is not willing to cooperate, it does not necessarily follow that she would be the one to get custody automatically, it is up to you to prove which of the two of you are best suited to care for the child and which would be better for the child. That would be the evidence you have to produce to the court.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it sufficient evidence that she refuses to tell me where and when she baptized my child and she cancelled my court ordered visit for his first birthday so that she can have a family party? Is it sufficient evidence that she refuses to allow access to the child for any of my family members? Only once in 2 years? Is it sufficient evidence that the number of photos she has sent over this time numbers about 12? Is it sufficient that the psychiatrist diagnosed adjustment disorder on my part due to "poor communication with the mother and inability to see his son"? Is it sufficient that she tried to characterize a love poem I wrote her for Valentine's day after she started inviting me into her home as evidence that I'm somehow unstable? Is it sufficient that her text messages demonstrate homophobia and crude animosity towards me? Is it sufficient that she had her father sit in front of the supervised visit establishment to intimidate me from attending?

Thank you for your response.

That is evidence that she has no intention of cooperating with you for the best interest of the child. The psychologists diagnosis would be big in your favor as well. You have to prove that you would be better suited to care for the child and that you would be able to foster a healthy relationship with her as mother despite the issues between the two of you.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Should I ask the court to place an order so that she must communicate information regarding my child? She has gotten a no contact order against me because she claims I was harassing her when all I ever asked was about the child. Now the grandmother is supposed to act as a messenger. Can this be codified as an order? I imagine it would be hard to have any specifics in that order as to what constitutes meaningful communication regarding the health and well-being of my son.

Thank you for your response.

You can and should ask the court for an order regarding at least written communication about your child or contact from the grandmother. The court would state that anything regarding the health of your son, your son's education or living conditions would fall under that category. However, these orders are sometimes hard to enforce and if she is refusing to allow any contact, you likely do better fighting her for physical custody.
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