Joint Custody — Right Or Wrong?

Custody battles are always emotional even if the parents are able to get along, and they are downright vicious if the parents are not. The children are sometimes viewed as assets to fight over like the DVD collection, and their needs can get lost. Attorneys often have to take the role of the objective observer, advising the client on what is best for the child. One common issue is whether to award joint custody or sole custody. EzSupport-NY, NY child support software, can easily handle both but which is better for the family?

Many judges tend to rule in favor of joint legal custody with the idea that both parents should be involved in the child’s upbringing. However judges also understand that circumstances outside of the cold numbers listed on the NY statement of net worth have to be considered as well. A couple of interesting New York appellate decisions were made in March that show both sides of the joint custody issue.

In Johanys M. v. Eddy A. the First Department ruled that joint custody was appropriate despite the fact that the mother didn’t work outside of the home so was “fully available” to provide child care. There had been some concern that the father expressed strongly negative feelings towards the mother and that might reflect his treatment of the children. Finally the couple lives in different boroughs so joint physical custody was not practical. The court ruled that, considering the couple’s history of resolving disagreements of the children amicably and in the children’s best interest, that joint legal custody was appropriate even if physical custody was not.

In the case of Irizarry v. Irizarry the Second Department put aside a joint custody agreement, saying that, unlike the parents above, the Irizarrys were not able to put their differences aside and make decisions in the best interest of the children. Joint custody would “enhance family chaos” so was not appropriate, although full access to the children’s school and medical information would remain in effect.

Attorneys in New York need to be able to examine the financial and emotional implications of both joint and sole custody. NY divorce software may not be able to tally the emotional toll but it can certainly spit out the numbers needed. Download a demo of EzSupport-NY and see how, with the click of a button, you can easily evaluate the finances of many different custody arrangements.

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