Dedicated Rensselaer County Fathers’ Rights Attorney Assisting Clients in New York State

Under New York law (DRL Section 70) there is no presumption about one parent’s right to custody of the child over another. However, fathers in Rensselaer County often are denied custody when they cannot come to an agreement about shared legal and physical custody of the child with the child’s other parent. At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we recognize how emotionally difficult a child custody battle can be, no matter what your circumstances might be. These cases become even more emotionally charged when a father is denied physical custody of the child simply because he was the primary earner in the family and therefore was not the child’s primary caretaker during the marriage.

When the court makes a decision about child custody, New York law (DRL Section 240) requires the court to determine what is in the best interests of the child. A number of the factors that the court can consider may unfairly prejudice fathers seeking custody, but a Rensselaer County fathers’ rights attorney can help you to fight for an equitable and just child custody order.

Understanding How Child Custody Works in Rensselaer County

To better understand just how important a fathers’ rights lawyer can be in your child custody case, it is important to get a sense of how child custody proceedings work in New York State. In general, the court will award custody in one of the following ways:

  • Joint legal and joint physical custody;
  • Joint legal and sole physical custody;
  • Sole legal and joint physical custody; or
  • Sole legal and sole physical custody.

Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make important decisions about the care of the child (such as medical care), as well as important decisions about the child’s upbringing (such as the child’s religion). The child does not need to live with both parents in order for the parents to share legal custody. However, if one parent is awarded sole legal custody, then that parent alone has the right to make all important decisions about the child’s upbringing and care. Physical custody refers to residential custody, or who will be responsible for the day-to-day physical care and supervision of the child. When one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent typically will have visitation.

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“Best Interests of the Child” Factors Are Not Always Fair to Rensselaer County Fathers

How does the court make its decisions about legal and physical custody? It will weigh a number of different factors to decide what is in the “best interests of the child,” many of which are not always fair to working fathers who were married to stay-at-home moms during the course of the marriage. Some of those factors include:

  • Which parent has served as the child’s primary caretaker;
  • Quality of each of the parent’s home environments;
  • What kind of “fit” each parent is for the child’s health, well-being, and general upbringing;
  • Where the child currently lives;
  • How long the child has been living in the current location;
  • Each of the parents’ abilities to provide emotional support for the child;
  • Each of the parents’ abilities to provide intellectual support for the child;
  • Ability of each of the parents to encourage or allow the other parent into the child’s life;
  • Child’s preferences, if the child is old enough to make such decisions; and
  • History of abuse or domestic violence.

As you might be able to imagine, several of these factors tend to weigh in favor of child custody for a stay-at-home mom, especially if the child still lives with his or her mother in the marital home. Yet it is important to keep in mind that the court weighs these factors, and usually a single factor alone will not decide the case. As such, it is extremely important to have a fathers’ rights attorney in Rensselaer County on your side to show that you being awarded child custody is indeed in the child’s best interests.

Contact a Rensselaer County Fathers’ Rights Attorney

Do you need help with your child custody case? A fathers’ rights attorney in Rensselaer County can assist you. Contact The Colwell Law Group, LLC today.

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