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Child Custody and High-Net-Worth Divorces in New York

Child Custody and High-Net-Worth Divorces in New York

Entering into a divorce where children are involved will require facing the decision about child custody. Those involved in child custody cases must deal with the same issues as everyone else, but with the added task of navigating other factors which can increase the complexity of their child custody arrangements.

Definition of Legal Custody in New York

When a parent is the sole decision-maker about a child's medical care, religion, education and other such important arrangements, that parent is said to have legal custody. Both parents can also be decision makers and, where this is the case, they are said to have joint legal custody of a child.

Definition of Physical Custody in New York

The parent with whom a child lives has physical custody of that child. Physical custody involves providing the child with physical care and supervision. In shared physical custody, a child lives for roughly an equal amount of time with each parent, which usually only occurs by agreement of the parties.

A judge determines custody according to the best interests of the child. This includes a parent's ability to care for the child, as well as the work schedules of the parents, in addition to the ability of the parents to cooperate.

Child Custody and Child Support

The physical custodial parent will receive child support from the non-custodial parent. Child support is based upon percentages of the parents' joint income which correspond with the number of children. i.e., one child is 17%, two children is 25%, three children is 29%, four children is 31%, five or more children is 35%.

Family Law vs. Divorce Law

Although the terms "family law" and "divorce law" are often used interchangeably, there is a very important difference between them. Divorces may only be heard in New York Supreme Court, whereas child custody of unmarried parents or spouses not seeking a divorce, child support, paternity and orders of protection are heard in New York Family Court.

It's true that many valuable assets may need to be divided in a divorce. However, a custody case's most valuable assets are the children. Although no one can completely prevent the negative emotions involved with child custody proceedings, securing legal counsel right away can help to ensure smooth proceedings that cause as little stress as possible.

Choosing an attorney having experience in your required area is of the utmost importance. The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco will proactively pursue your best interests; call (631) 801-0007.