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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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What are the ny laws regarding child custody for unmarried

Resolved Question:

what are the ny laws regarding child custody for unmarried parents- one in ny (mom) and one in vermont (dad)? Does the mom stand a chance of losing custody or forced joint custody? where would legal battles be? in NY where mom and baby are?Scenario: couple was in an on and off relationship. Pregnancy happened before the break up. Her family is in NY and she moved here to be with them until birth of baby. Baby's father lives in Vermont, expects he will have joint custody. We're not sure if the mom has to file anything after the baby is born or is she naturally the legal custodian?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 10 years ago.
Proper jurisdiction for a custody case would be the state where the child resides. So in this case the legal issues should be addressed in New York. Further, since both dad and mom have the legal rights to the child, the mother does not have automatic custodial rights to custody. The mother should file for a custody order.

The law typically favors awarding joint custody as it is believed that the child's best interest would be served. However, if one parent is considered unfit to care for the well-being of the child or will prevent the other parent from seeing their child, the court awards the cooperating parenting with custody. This is decided by the court on a case-by-case basis.

Having a history of anger management is persuasive to the court. Below are other factors which New York considered in rendering a custody decision:

A judge will make a decision about custody based on what s/he thinks is in your child’s best interest. The judge will look at any factor that s/he thinks is important to make this decision. Some of the things a judge will probably look at include:

  • Who has been the child’s primary caretaker
  • The quality of each parent’s home environment
  • How “fit” the judge thinks each parent is
  • Which parent the child is living with now and how long that arrangement has been in place
  • Each parent’s ability to provide emotional and intellectual support for your child
  • What arrangement would be most likely to let your child see both parents regularly
  • Both parents’ financial status
  • Which parent your child wants to live with, if s/he is old enough to make an informed decision
  • Whether your child would be separated from any siblings
  • Whether either parent plans to move away
  • Whether either parent has been abusive

You can read more about the custody issue here.

Further child support is independent of child custody. So the mother can petition the court for child support to begin regardless of the custody proceedings. One problem is that proper jurisdiction for support issues is the state were the father resides, but double check with the New York child support enforcement agency to see if it can be filed in New York as mom and the child are resident's there.

Legal Disclaimer: The information given by me is for informational/research use only and you are paying me only for such information. The information contained herewith is not legal advice and by rendering such information there is no formation of an attorney-client relationship. I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are advised to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate information. Thank you.

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