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Child custody options after a divorce

When New York parents divorce, the single most important thing they can do is work out a parenting plan that focuses on what’s best for the kids. That often means that the couple needs to be mature enough to let the best interests of the children supersede the personal conflicts between the two spouses. If they do that, they can ensure that the children continue to have healthy relationships with both of their parents as well as with their extended families on both sides.

The parenting plan should address the form of child custody called physical custody, also called residential custody. Physical custody deals with where the children will live and for what periods of each week or month.

That could be a matter of living with one parent during the week and then living with the other parent each weekend, which could make sense of the first parent is at home on weekdays and the other parent is at home on weekends. It could also be an every-other-week arrangement, with the children living with each respective parent during alternate weeks.

A different version of alternating physical custody would have the children in one parent’s house say Sundays through Wednesdays each week, and in the other parent’s house Thursdays through Fridays each week. That can be a good way to correlate where they are living with management of their activities.

Legal custody, another form of child custody, will also need to be determined. That is a matter of establishing which parent gets to make which decisions about the children. Ideally, the parents can make most decisions together with the guidance of their attorneys.