If she is filing for custody from NY, then this is where she likely lives, and where the child lives. Custody matters (original jurisdiction) follow where the child lives, so NY has jurisdiction. So you would need an NY attorney. If getting to Court is an impossibility, one's attorney can file a motion for telephonic hearing and the court can at its discretion allow you to appear by telephone/video. The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child
." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree to this. One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement. Even if a parent does not get managing custody, they are almost guaranteed visitation
unless they have a drug problem, alcohol dependency, or an unsafe home environment. Abuse and or neglect of the child or previous children are an almost automatic bar for even visitation, although supervised visitation
may be granted by the Court. Of course, that is the standard order of possession. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation. The visiting parent pays child support to the custodian, unless the custodian declines it. All states have a preset salary percentage calculation for child support, but this can be altered if both parties agree to a lesser or higher amount or do not put child support in the orders all-together; the Court will only impose default child support if the parties cannot agree. For NY, see HERE. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.