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Family Law Blog New City, New York

News and insights about divorce and family law in New York.

Child Custody in New York

Custody refers to the legal right to care for a child. A New York court may make custody determinations if a child has resided in the state for a minimum of six months. There are two types of custody that a New York court can assign: legal custody and residential custody. Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make decisions for a child. Residential custody is where a child will live. The court may make decisions about the custody of a child until the child is 18 years old. The court makes all custody decisions based on what it believes is in the best interest of the child, and does not favor one parent over the other on the basis of gender.  The custody decisions may be made either by a judge or referee at trial, or in an agreement reached by both parents through the voluntary mediation process.

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New York Spousal Maintenance

Maintenance, sometimes called alimony or spousal support, is court- ordered payments from one former spouse to the other following the divorce. In New York, spousal maintenance is usually ordered for a limited time. Temporary spousal maintenance may be ordered during the divorce proceedings, before the case is finalized. 

The court determines maintenance by looking at both party’s incomes separately. If both parties make less than $524,000, no additional factors are considered. The party who earns a higher income is the payor, and the party who receives the maintenance is the payee. The court uses a mathematical formula to determine the amount of maintenance owed; the maintenance calculator utilized by all New York courts can be found at http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/calculator.pdf.
Here are some examples of maintenance orders when both parties make less than $524,000:

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