There are two major parts of custody in New York.
I. Physical/Residential Custody:
– who lives with the child on a day to day basis
– who has a parenting time/visitation schedule with the child
II. Legal Custody :
This determines whether one or both parents have decision making authority over the major issues affecting the children.
Forms of Legal Custody :
It can be sole, where one parent makes those major decisions alone. It can be joint custody, where both parents make all of those decisions together.
Or it can even be some type of combination in the middle.
What Legal Custody Covers :
Legal custody relates to who has authority to make the larger decisions in a Child’s life. These are not the day-to-day routine items, like if it is pizza or burgers for dinner. Rather, they are the big issues, such as long term medications and educational services. They are the ‘G-d forbid’ issues that parents pray never even come up.
When Joint Legal Custody Appropriate :
Joint legal custody is encouraged primarily as a voluntary alternative for relatively stable, amicable parents behaving in mature civilized fashion. Joint legal custody, however, is inappropriate where the parties are antagonistic towards each other and have demonstrated an inability to cooperate on matters concerning the child.