New York matrimonial attorney Evan Schein of Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein talks about how courts determine child custody and visitation.
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When child custody and visitation is an issue for the court to decide the first thing the court is going to look at and the analysis they’re going to run is what is in the child’s best interest. And again, courts will look at what is the parent’s practice? Courts will look at what is the routine of the child? And post-divorce or post custody cases a court is going to want a child’s life to remain as unchanged as possible. Courts want consistency, they want stability; they want an easy transition for a child going from living with both parents to living in two separate households with two parents. But the overriding statutory considering is what is in the child’s best interest. Is it best for the child to have a parenting schedule where two parents are very involved? Does one parent’s work schedule prevent that parent from having overnights during the week? What is the child’s school schedule? What does the child do after school? What is the child’s extracurricular activities? All things a court will consider when performing that best interest analysis.