New York parents who are going through a divorce may feel overwhelmed by the proceedings ahead. While setting themselves up for financial security is an important strategy to consider when ending a marriage, divorcing parents will likely also have many concerns on their minds about child custody arrangements.
If you hope to obtain primary custody of your children in a shared custody arrangement, you may have your work cut out for you. Even if you believe you are best fit for holding that responsibility, you will likely still need to show the court why your children would fair best with you. During child custody proceedings, the judge involved will take many factors into consideration.
First, can you work with the other parent?
Because child custody is such a sensitive matter to address, the parents themselves create some of the best arrangements. If you and your soon-to-be ex can work together amicably to share parenting duties even after the divorce and can come up with a realistic custody schedule, you may present your ideas to the court for approval. Unfortunately, not all parents can work together in this manner, and you may need a judge to determine custody for you.
Second, present your case to the court
Though the judge will have the final say in custody arrangements, you can still present an argument as to why you believe you should have primary custody of your kids. You may have the ability to bolster your case if you can prove some of the following details:
- You take the kids to school and to their extracurricular activities.
- You make the majority of their meals.
- You monitor the activities they take part in, the video games they play and the shows they watch on television.
- You carry out disciplinary action when appropriate.
- You help them dress and get ready for school.
- You stay home with them if they are sick or have days off of school.
- You take them to the doctor and dentist and generally handle their health care needs.
It is important to note that you do not have to show that you handle every single one of your children’s needs without the help of the other parent. In general, if you can show that you handle most of their daily needs, the court may rule in your favor in hopes of causing less disruption to the children’s lives.